Nunatsiaq News
NEWS: Nunavut August 27, 2015 - 8:31 am

Iqaluit boaters, disabled craft ride home on Coast Guard ship

Coast Guard releases more info on Ward Inlet rescue

STEVE DUCHARME
Rescuers hoist a disabled aluminum boat aboard the CCGS George R. Pearkes Aug. 21, after the boat's engines failed and the craft began to drift. Four boaters, and their boat, returned home to Iqaluit later that day aboard the icebreaker. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COAST GUARD)
Rescuers hoist a disabled aluminum boat aboard the CCGS George R. Pearkes Aug. 21, after the boat's engines failed and the craft began to drift. Four boaters, and their boat, returned home to Iqaluit later that day aboard the icebreaker. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COAST GUARD)
The CCGS George R. Pearkes, an icebreaker that's been operating in Frobisher Bay this month. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COAST GUARD)
The CCGS George R. Pearkes, an icebreaker that's been operating in Frobisher Bay this month. (PHOTO COURTESY OF THE COAST GUARD)

After spending the night in their disabled aluminum boat Aug. 20, awaiting rescue from the Canadian Coast Guard, four Iqaluit boaters and their disabled craft returned home aboard the icebreaker CCGS George R. Pearkes, the Coast Guard said in information released Aug. 26.

The Coast Guard said the boat suffered engine failure and was adrift near Ward Inlet in Frobisher Bay, about 50 nautical miles from Iqaluit.

The Coast Guard determined a rescue would not be safe until the following morning, after they determined the crew of the disabled vessel had adequate supplies, survival gear and flotation equipment.

Encroaching drift ice and disappearing daylight would have made any immediate rescue dangerous, the Coast Guard said.

Rescue personnel maintained radio communications throughout the night with the boat’s occupants.

A helicopter was dispatched the following morning and rescued three of the four passengers.

The remaining boater stayed aboard until Coast Guard vessels safely navigated to the ship through the drift ice.

Rescuers brought the boaters and their craft aboard the George R. Pearkes, which was dispatched from its anchorage in Iqaluit to the distressed vessel.

The disabled boat and crew were brought ashore in Iqaluit Aug 21.

All four boaters were in good health with no injuries, the Coast Guard said.

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