Did you see all the media coverage of the Coast Guard’s “rescue” operation during the 2012 Arctic Expedition?

Wow. Just in case you missed it, SOI received a whole lot of media coverage from the dramatic Canadian Coast Guard “rescue” operation during the recent 2012 Arctic Expedition. Our expedition team was initially held up in Iqaluit due to unusual amounts of sea ice in Frobisher Bay, but we were finally able to make it to our ship thanks to the heroic efforts of the Canadian Coast Guard. This “rescue” turned out to be an exciting and unforgettable experience for the students – many saying it was one of the highlights of the expedition.

Thank you Canadian Coast Guard!!

Coast Guard ‘miracle’ keeps Arctic expedition afloat

Ice conditions threatened to cancel excursion

By Peter Henderson August 5, 2012 10:01 PM
Ottawa Citizen

OTTAWA — An Arctic expedition for students organized by a Gatineau non-profit is on its way out to sea after a “miracle” intervention by the Canadian Coast Guard on Friday.

More than 100 students, teachers and guides had planned to board their educational ship in Iqaluit on Aug. 1, but couldn’t because the harbour became choked with ice from Frobisher Bay.

After days of waiting, the Coast Guard ship Des Groseilliers agreed to help.

Students On Ice operations manager Reina Lahtinen said a Coast Guard barge was able to navigate between the ice and bring the students to the Des Groseilliers late Friday.

The students were then transferred ship-to-ship in groups on Zodiac rafts to their own vessel, which was waiting in another part of the bay that was ice-free.

Lahtinen said the operation to get the students from the shore and onto their own ship took about three hours.

“We were collectively holding our breath,” said Mark Brooks, the communications manager for Students on Ice. “We didn’t know if it was going to happen, if they were going to be successful. It was really a last resort. If this didn’t work, the whole expedition could have been in peril.”

In a blog post, expedition leader Geoff Green thanked the Coast Guard and said it took “a bit of a miracle” to get the expedition moving.

Brooks said the amount of ice in Iqaluit was unusual for this time of year and had been caused by unusual winds and currents.

Students On Ice is an educational organization that leads expeditions for high school and university students to the Arctic and Antarctic. The expeditions focus on issues of culture, environment and politics of the polar regions.

Most of the students on the two-week trip are Canadian, including three from Ottawa, Brooks said, although some are from other countries. Without help from the Coast Guard, he said, some of them would have had to return to homes as far away as Russia and India.

Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, issued a statement Saturday congratulating the Coast Guard for the successful operation.

The statement noted the North could be a dangerous and unpredictable place with extreme weather and ice conditions that could make travel treacherous.

“We are so pleased that the Canadian Coast Guard could assist these stranded students in getting safely to their research vessel,” the joint statement read.

“People in the North are well-served by Canada’s Coast Guard who go above and beyond the call of duty to help with humanitarian incidents such as this.”

Lahtinen said the group had been in Iqaluit after flying from Ottawa on July 30. They had completed pre-expedition programs while staying in the student residences at Arctic College, but, because of the delays, had a lot of extra time to fill.

Luckily, Lahtinen said, community members in Iqaluit stepped forward to provide extra presentations and entertainment.

“It really added to the experience of these students. They got to spend an extra couple of days in Iqaluit and to really have a sense of what it’s like to live in the north and befriend these people in the community and other youth in Iqaluit,” she said.

Lahtinen said the ice even provided some entertainment.

“When the tides were out, the students were able to walk out into Frobisher Bay and walk amongst the bergy bits and the pieces of iceberg, so we literally had students walking on ice.”

The group will eventually sail to Greenland, where they will board a flight back to Canada.

With files from the Canadian Press

pehenderson@ottawacitizen.com

© Copyright (c) The Ottawa Citizen

Read more: http://www.ottawacitizen.com/Coast+Guard+miracle+keeps+Arctic+expedition+afloat/7045504/story.html#ixzz22jOwxUUE


Canadian Coast Guard helps students in ice-bound Iqaluit reach their ship

By: The Canadian Press
Posted: 08/4/2012 5:19 PM

Alex Taylor, a guide with

Enlarge Image

Alex Taylor, a guide with “Students on Ice” celebrates during a transfer in Iqaluit, Nunavut. The Canadian Coast Guard has helped an Arctic expedition called “Students on Ice” get on its way after the students ended up with a lot more ice than anticipated.Over 100 students, teachers and guides had planned to board their educational ship in Iqaluit on August 1, but couldn’t because the harbour was choked with ice from Frobisher Bay. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Students On Ice

IQALUIT, Nunavut – The Canadian Coast Guard helped an Arctic expedition called “Students on Ice” get on its way this weekend after the students ended up with a lot more ice than anticipated.

Over 100 students, teachers and guides had planned to board their educational ship in Iqaluit on August 1, but couldn’t because the harbour was choked with ice from Frobisher Bay.

After days of waiting, the Coast Guard ship Des Groseilliers agreed to help.

Students On Ice operations manager Reina Lahtinen said a Coast Guard barge was able to navigate between the ice and bring the students to the Des Groseilliers late Friday.

The students were then transferred ship-to-ship in groups on Zodiac rafts to their own vessel, which was waiting outside in a part of the bay that was ice-free.

“We were lucky last night because the tides were high because it was a full moon, and winds were low,” Lahtinen said Saturday, noting that the transfer was tricky.

“Obviously in those conditions, there is some risk,” she explained. “We didn’t really have any other options at that point.”

Lahtinen said the amount of ice in Iqaluit is unusual for this time of year, and is due to unusual winds and currents.

Students On Ice is a Gatineau, Que.-based educational organization that leads expeditions for high school and university students to the Arctic and Antarctic. The expeditions focus on issues of culture, environment, politics of the polar regions.

Most of the students on the two-week trip are Canadian, Lahtinen said, although some are from other countries.

Lahtinen said the operation to get them from the shore and onto their own ship took about three hours.

Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency, issued a statement Saturday congratulating the Coast Guard for the successful operation.

The statement noted the North can be a dangerous and unpredictable place with extreme weather and ice conditions that can make travel treacherous.

“We are so pleased that the Canadian Coast Guard could assist these stranded students in getting safely to their research vessel,” the joint statement read.

“People in the North are well-served by Canada’s Coast Guard who go above and beyond the call of duty to help with humanitarian incidents such as this.”

Lahtinen said the group had been in Iqaluit after flying from Ottawa on July 30. They had completed their planned pre-expedition programs while staying in the student residences at Arctic College, but due to the delays had a lot of extra time to fill.

Luckily, Lahtinen said, many community members in Iqaluit stepped forward to provide extra presentations and entertainment.

“It really added to the experience of these students. They got to spend an extra couple of days in Iqaluit and to really have a sense of what it’s like to live in the north and befriend these people in the community and other youth in Iqaluit,” Lahtinen said.

Lahtinen said the ice itself even provided some entertainment.

“When the tides were out, the students were able to walk out into Frobisher Bay and walk amongst the bergy bits and the pieces of iceberg. So we literally had students walking on ice.”

The group will eventually sail to Greenland where they will board a flight back to Canada.


Joint Press Release from the Ministers of Fisheries and Oceans, Health, and the Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency

Saturday, August 4, 2012

At 12:50 am August 4 2012 in Frobisher Bay Nunavut, CCGS Des Groseilliers successfully completed the safe transfer of 76 students and 40 educators with the Students on Ice Program, to the passenger vessel MV Akademik Ioffe.

This afternoon, The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Minister of Canadian Northern Economic Development Agency and Minister of Health released the following statement:

“We are so pleased that the Canadian Coast Guard could assist these stranded students in getting safely to their research vessel.

“Canada’s North can be a dangerous and unpredictable place with extreme weather and ice conditions that can make travel very treacherous.

“People in the North are well-served by Canada’s Coast Guard who go above and beyond the call of duty to help with humanitarian incidents such as this.”


Coast Guard help students in ice-bound Iqaluit

The Canadian Press
Published Sunday, Aug. 5, 2012 9:02AM EDT

http://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/coast-guard-help-students-in-ice-bound-iqaluit-1.904247


Canadian Coast Guard helps students in ice-bound Iqaluit reach their ship

Yahoo! News
Sat. Aug 4, 2012

Metro News
Aug. 4, 2012

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