20 tourists stranded on ice floe in Nunavut await rescue aircraft

ARCTIC BAY, Nunavut – A group of tourists on an ice floe off Baffin Island in Nunavut will likely be stranded there until early Wednesday morning.

They were set adrift when a 50 kilometre long slab of ice broke away from the shore sometime between Monday night and early Tuesday and floated several kilometres out to sea.

RCMP spokeswoman Cpl. Yvonne Niego says there are 20 people trapped on the ice floe just off Admiralty Inlet on the north coast of Baffin Island including local guides, and Canadian and foreign tourists.

Niego says 10 hunters who were also trapped on the floe managed to cross over onto land after the chunk of ice split and their end floated close to shore on Tuesday afternoon.

The end of the floe the tourists are on remains afloat.

Officials with the Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre say they will hopefully be able to pick the tourists up around 3 a.m. ET.

“All people are safe, no one’s been injured, no casualties. They do have enough supplies, however precautionary supplies may be flown up,” Niego said Tuesday evening.

Rescue officials said the group has a camp and shelter.

The hunters had come from an undisclosed community to hunt whales, while the tourists were with Arctic Kingdom Expeditions some distance from the hunters.