As of this posting nine caribou hunters are being rescued from ice-locked Coats Island by the Canadian Coast Guard via the Icebreaker Pierre Radisson.
The nine caribou hunters left Coral Harbour in two 24-foot aluminum boats sometime last month. They were waiting out a week’s worth of bad weather when the island they were hunting became surrounded by ice. The group apparently tried to get through the ice Saturday but were unsuccessful. It was during this attempt that their satellite phone went dead. Fortunately the group was spotted by a Hercules aircraft on Sunday. Captain Jean Houde, with CFB Trenton, said the plane managed to drop a radio to communicate with them shortly after.
“From the air, they explained to the people in the boats that they were pretty much surrounded by the ice,” Houde said. “But there seemed to be one channel available to return on land to Coats Island, which is where they had just left from.”
This situation stands as a reminder of how dangerous hunting in remote areas can be, even when the latest safety equipment is taken as a precaution.