Tourists Stranded On Ice Floe In Canadian Arctic Still Waiting To Be Picked Up [REPORT]

By Philip Ross on June 26, 2013 4:21 PM EDT

tourists stranded
Tourists, stranded on an ice floe in the chilly waters of the Canadian Arctic, were able to make it safely back to the mainland, but because of unfavorable weather conditions, must wait patiently for rescue. (Photo: Reuters)

Tourists, stranded on an ice floe in the Canadian Arctic, are back on land but still waiting to be picked up by rescuers. The group of 20 tourists became marooned on a frozen island when a 31-mile long slab of ice split from the shore and drifted out to sea sometime early Tuesday morning.

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Luckily, all of the tourists stranded on the ice floe, as well as the whale hunters who also happened to be on the frozen slab when it split from the mainland, were able to scramble back to shore when the ice floe came back in contact with the mainland.

ABC News reports that a group of 20 tourists were out on an expedition of the Canadian Arctic earlier this week and were camping on an ice floe just north of Arctic Bay, Nunavut, the northernmost and largest territory of Canada. It's also one of the most remote and sparsely settled regions in the world; most of the 31,906 people who live in Nunavut are Inuit.

The travelers, including people from the U.S., Jordan, France and Australia, were with a guide group company called Arctic Kingdom which provides equipment and outfitting services to tourists, film crews and scientists who want to camp in off-the-grid locations of the Arctic.

What caused the slab of ice to break away from the mainland, leading the tourists to be stranded on the ice floe?

"We believe it was caused in part due to the super moon together with very strong winds," Graham Dickson, president of Kingdom Expeditions, told the Canadian Press.

He also said that, while the 20 tourists stranded on the ice floe waited for the tides and winds to change, bringing them back to shore, they kept themselves occupied by watching movies. "Nobody was in any immediate danger at any time," he continued.

Fortunately, the group of tourists stranded on an ice floe, in addition to having adequate entertainment, were also well equipped with plenty of food, heated tents and cooking equipment. According to NewsMax, a rescue plane even dropped survival kits for the group Tuesday after expedition leaders sent word to authorities that they were drifting out to sea. The rescue plane dropped satellite phones, inflatable rafts and food.

Read more from iScience Times:

Ellesmere Island Teardrop Glacier Moss: What Do Frozen Arctic Plants Tell Us About Climate Change?

Life On Mars: Does Arctic Bacteria Discovery Indicate Possible Life In Space?

Ship On Fire In Antarctica: 97 Saved From Kai Xin; Antarctica At Risk For Environmental Disaster?

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