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Tourists Rescued From Drifting Arctic Ice Floe

20 people had been adrift for 2 days
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 26, 2013 2:56 AM CDT
Updated Jun 27, 2013 11:23 AM CDT
20 Tourists Stuck on Drifting Arctic Ice Floe
Ice floes float in Baffin Bay above the Arctic Circle.   (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Jonathan Hayward)

(Newser) – Ten tourists and 10 guides were rescued last night after spending almost two days drifting on an ice floe in the Canadian Arctic, LiveScience reports. The group, including two Americans, was on an expedition on Baffin Island in Canada's far north when the chunk of ice they were on broke free and drifted away Tuesday, the CBC reports. As the group awaited rescue, the 30-mile-long chunk of ice moved around 8 miles out to sea. A group of hunters on another chunk of ice that broke free managed to make it back to land.

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The Canadian military assured that the group was safe—even though the ice floe was starting to deteriorate—but it was in an area so remote rescue was difficult; at least two attempts by the Royal Canadian Air Force had to be abandoned, NBC News reports. The military airlifted food, supplies, and life rafts to them, and military helicopters eventually made it to them. (Read more Arctic stories.)

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