A major rescue effort brought two Naujaat hunters home safely on Aug. 28, but a third hunter did not survive a polar bear attack.
The hunting party left Naujaat during the week of Aug. 21 with plans to return a couple of days later, but they never showed up.
The Naujaat RCMP were advised of three overdue hunters on Aug. 26.
An operation involving the community’s search and rescue team, Nunavut Emergency Management office and the Joint Rescue Coordination Centre got underway on Aug. 27. Local boats and a Hercules aircraft took part in the search, but ice prevented the boats from reaching White’s Island, where the hunters were believed to be located.
A second Hercules aircraft and an icebreaker joined the search today and managed to reach White’s Island. The rescuers found two of the hunters with minor injuries but a third hunter died following a polar bear attack. The Nunavut Department of Environment has been notified, according to the RCMP.
An investigation into the incident is ongoing.