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The men were stranded near Coral Harbour when the ice floe drifted too far from shore.

RCAF rescues hunters stranded in Hudson Bay

Daniel Martins
Digital Reporter

Tuesday, January 13, 2015, 8:46 AM - Eight hunters stranded on an ice floe in Hudson Bay were airlifted to safety by the Royal Canadian Air Force over the weekend.

The men went adrift on Friday, January 9, prompting a call for help and the scrambling of aircraft to their aid.

Royal Canadian Air Force Maj. Steve Neta told CTV the men were hunting near Coral Harbour, on Nunavut's Southampton Island, when the ice broke away, and local rescuers couldn't reach them safely.

Though potentially a dire situation, the RCAF said in a release that the men were actually well-prepared for the elements, and had a SPOT beacon that transmitted their location to the authorities.

On Saturday, as a precaution, a CC-130 Hercules from Winnipeg dropped radios, survival equipment, rations, water and life rafts, in case the floe broke up unexpectedly.

A CH-149 Cormorant helicopter arrived the next morning. It was unable to land on the ice, but winched the men aboard and carried them to Coral Harbour.

The group was 55 km south of that community, and about 27 km from the nearest land, according to the RCAF.

Coral Harbour is the only settlement on Southampton Island, with a population of around 800 people.

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