UPDATE: Searchers find missing Russian helicopter pilot
Sergey Ananov, 49, taken aboard CGS Pierre Radisson
(Updated 5:45 a.m., July 27)
Searchers have found the missing Russian helicopter pilot Sergey Ananov, who was taken aboard the Canadian Coast Guard vessel Pierre Radisson either very late in the evening July 26 or in the early morning hours of July 27.
“Sergey is onboard at Canadian Coast Guard Ship “Pierre Radisson” proceeding to Iqaluit. I had a telephone call from Sergey 4 hrs ago. Helicopter is in the sea. Sergey has not any document, any other paper. No cloth, no money or credit card as well,” a member of his team, Michael Farikh, said in a Facebook message.
Ananov is in “good health” after spending two days on drifting ice with “three polar bears,” Farikh said.
Farikh did not give the exact time when Ananov was picked up and did not say how Ananov’s small helicopter ended up in the sea.
JTF Atlantic confirmed in a tweet that Ananov is alive and well and is now en route to Iqaluit aboard the CGS Pierre Radisson.
The Joint Rescue Coordination Service in Halifax began the search July 25, after Ananov, 49, went missing while en route from Iqaluit to Nuuk.
He was attempting to become the first person to make a solo flight around the world in a helicopter smaller than one tonne.
“[W]ith heavy hearts we have to write that unfortunately yesterday we lost contact with Sergey during his flight over Davis Strait …,” his team said in a Facebook post.
His Delorme tracking device also showed a loss of contact around the same location.
In a tweet posted 9:36 p.m., July 25, JRCC Halifax said a second Hercules aircraft and a Cormorant rescue helicopter had joined the search, which also involves a Herc that had been dispatched earlier, a Transport Canada aircraft and a fishing vessel.
Weather at the scene was “challenging and deteriorating,” with heavy fog, JRCC said July 25.
“The helicopter was reported overdue during a scheduled flight from Iqaluit, Nunavut, to Nuuk, Greenland,” the JRCC said in a tweet.
Ananov began his flight June 13 in Moscow.
He had arrived in Iqaluit July 23 via Labrador and Nunavik after a long journey across North America.
Ananov’s bio describes him as an economist, journalist and sociologist who holds five world records in aviation.
The search, which began July 25 involved at least two Hercules aircraft dispatched by the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, a Cormorant helicopter from Gander, and a Transport Canada vessel, a fishing vessel, and the CGS Pierre Radisson.
(More to follow)