Search and rescues on the rise in Canada’s eastern Arctic

Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut (Eilis Quinn, Eye on the Arctic)
Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut (Eye on the Arctic)
The number of searches for missing hunters and travellers is on the rise in Canada’s eastern Arctic territory of Nunavut, according to the director of protection services.

Ed Zebedee says in 2013, there were 215 searches in the territory. In the three years prior to that, there were 468.

“We’ve been going up by 10 to 15 per cent every year and there’s a lot of reasons for that, but if we could get the numbers down that would be hugely rewarding for all the staff in my office,” he said.

“We don’t want to have to look for people and we don’t want to have to hear of a family losing a family member.”

Zebedee says many people become stranded because of broken machines. He says when people go out on the land they need proper equipment as well as a SPOT device or GPS.

Zebedee says $2.2 million was spent on searches from 2011 to 2013. There have been 27 searches since the beginning of this year.

Related Links:

Canada: Tourists stranded on ice floe in Arctic Canada return to shore, CBC News

Greenland:Air Greenland nixes helicopter order, Eye on the Arctic

Russia:  Russia opens first of ten new search and rescue centers in the Arctic, Blog by Mia Bennett

United States:  Alaska: Steps outlined to prevent search-and-rescue tragedy, Alaska Dispatch

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