I glanced the news the other day; “plane makes mayday call, over water, near Baffin Island on Canada’s arctic coast, search under way”. My first reaction was that this was not going to be a happy ending, if even luck proved that there was indeed an ending to be found.
Well I am very happy to be wrong! The two managed to land the plane they were flying, on an ice flow, which gave them just enough time to clamor out, before the plane broke through the thin ice and sank. The two survivors, both from Sweden, but originally from Denmark and Australia, were delivering the small airplane from the US, to new owners in Sweden. The pair managed to survive in polar bear country, relatively unscathed, in minus 20 degrees Celsius weather. They were rescued 18 hrs after the crash landing, by the Atlantic Enterprise, a shrimp trawler operated by Bedford, Nova Scotia based Clearwater Seafoods.
The Atlantic Enterprises received the mayday call the evening before, pulled up their fishing gear, and headed towards the last known location at full speed. The next day they arrived on scene, and spotted the shivering pair on the ice flows, and promptly took them on board. They were subsequently airlifted to Iqaluit, Nunavut, several hours later, for medical attention.
You can read more about this incredible story from the survivor’s point of view here; and a general news story from the Canadian Press here. I think those two should buying some lottery tickets very soon, and Clearwater ought to be quite proud of the Atlantic Enterprise and its crew.
Division: FAS (Frozen at Sea) Shrimp
Landing Port: St. Anthony
Sail Date: 2008-10-15
Length: 72 Meters
Beam: 16 Meters
Capacity: 730 Metric Tonnes
Power: Wartsila W12V32, 4990KW