Heavy-Duty Diving: Rescue mission underway to recover F-150 sunk off remote arctic island

Tasmania Islands, Nunavut — Let’s all hold our cowboy hats to our hearts and pray, as members of the Transglobal Car Expedition team head back to a remote stretch of arctic islands to retrieve a Ford F-150 that sunk into the chilly depths.

The truck met its demise during an overland trip from Yellowknife, NWT to Resolute Bay, Nvt., when it crashed through the ice somewhere near the Tasmania Islands and along the Franklin Strait.

A 12-person rescue team began their mission yesterday, departing from 300 kilometres away in Gjoa Haven, and are expected to return, truck or no truck, in three days.

Representatives from the Transglobal Car Expedition said in a statement that the rescue team will attempt to attach airbags to the truck so that it may simply float back up to the surface and be brought ashore.

Local hunters and guides have also been called on to assist the team in navigating the harsh arctic waters.

The recovery effort is being funded by GoodGear, the parent organization behind the Transglobal Car Expedition.


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2 Responses

  1. The Transglobal Car Expedition by GoodGear.org is commencing the recovery operation of
    the Arctic Trucks AT44 F-150 vehicle lost through the ice near the Tasmania Islands,
    Nunavut, on 23 March 2022.
    After the successful completion of the world’s first overland wheeled crossing from the
    continental shelf of Canada to the high Arctic (Yellowknife NT to Resolute NU) in March
    2022, in the process of returning the vehicles to Cambridge Bay on March 23, 2022, one
    vehicle was lost through the surface in an area of rapidly shifting ice on a heavy current. No
    one was injured.
    In the months following, the Transglobal Car Expedition has worked with local communities
    and regional and federal authorities to develop a recovery program. This incident has
    improved our understanding of the safety measures needed for the planned full
    circumnavigation of the globe in 2024. It has also provided important data on the viability of
    travel on the ice in the context of global warming, which is making traveling over the ice
    more dangerous for Indigenous communities and other ice travelers.
    The Transglobal Car Expedition team knows that the Arctic is one of the most fragile
    ecosystems on the planet, and any pollution there can have irreversible consequences. Taking
    full responsibility for the accident, the team has planned all the recovery stages and are now
    prepared to start the operation.
    Starting August 25, 2022 the recovery team will operate from Gjoa Haven, which is 300 km
    from the sunken vehicle. A team of highly experienced Arctic divers will begin an
    underwater recovery operation which will float the truck using airbags and secure it on the
    island. When secured on land, it will be inspected and made ready for airlift. Coldstream
    Helicopters’ heavy lift helicopter will carry it to Gjoa Haven, where it will be made ready for
    the next available sealift vessel to Montreal.
    An experienced film/presenting team will follow the recovery team. Local hunters have been
    retained as wildlife monitors. Following the recovery, the team will leave the site after
    making sure that it remains in pristine condition. It is estimated that the team will be on-site
    for approximately three days to account for any delay in lifting the truck.
    “This is a massively complex operation in a very remote area of a precious landscape.
    Months of planning have gone into this effort and the Transglobal Car Expedition has
    committed all the resources necessary to succeed and ensure the team’s safety during this
    process,” said Emil Grimsson, head of Arctic Trucks Polar of Iceland, who will monitor the
    operation from Gjoa Haven.

    Added Andrew Comrie-Picard, a Canadian expedition member and director of the media
    team: “This is an international team of the best in the world in polar wheeled travel,
    augmented with experienced cold-water recovery experts and a team of Indigenous
    underwater camera operators. Our respect for the land motivates our desire to do the right
    thing to remediate the area, and also bring the world’s eyes to one of the most pristine and
    beautiful places on the planet.”
    The parent organization of the Transglobal Car Expedition is the Swiss non-profit GoodGear,
    which seeks to bring innovative technologies to locations around the world for the betterment
    of local communities and the advancement of scientific research.

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