Polar tragedy witness rescued

Posted: May 03, 2015 08:58 am EDT


(Correne Coetzer) Latest news from the Cold Facts team in The Netherlands is that Kimnik has been saved (May 2nd, Canadian time), and is doing well.


Loyal and dedicated, the only witness in the tragedy, guarded the equipment at the site against polar bears. 


Third team mate, dog Kimnik, the only being who saw what happened on April 29th when Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo perished in the icy waters of the Arctic, has been picked up from the ice. She is a trained husky from Resolute Bay, Canada, and could survive for at least 3 weeks, her owner assured.


Since Marc and Philip have sent out a distress signal on April 29th, and gone missing, the Search and Rescue teams had done three fly-bys at the location from where the signal was sent, some 200 km north of Resolute Bay. All they had found were tracks, one sled in open water, the other sled nearby on the ice, plus dog Kimnik, guarding loyal over the equipment. 


Many concerns were expressed over what would happen with the dog as bad weather prevented landing and rescuing. Cold Facts explained that the owner of the dog was part of the SAR team; in fact she was one of the spotters on the search plane.


Kimnik picked up


Bad weather prevented landing near Kimnik and the sleds until yesterday. 


Cold  Facts reported, "When it was save to land, the crew were able to rescue the dog, Kimnik, who has been such a loyal team member, protecting the site from polar bears. Kimnik is, besides a little bit hungry, doing well and will be reunited with her owner, the local wildlife ranger from Resolute. We thank Kimnik very much for her dedicated work protecting our team members Marc and Philip.”


Recovery operation


Canadian authorities in Resolute and Iqaluit are still working on the continuation of the recovery operation.


The recovery operation's focus is bringing home Marc and Philip with all their equipment. They believe that there is a possibility that the two men may still be attached under the sled in the water, Explorersweb has been told.


Yesterday the helicopter was able to fly over the site estimating necessary equipment for the recovery operation and taking pictures to be analysed by the experts, Cold Facts team reported. There is no news yet what will be done next, they added.


Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo were two experienced polar explorers. Marc is the founder of Cold Facts, an organization doing scientific research in the polar regions supported by the expertise of polar expeditions. Cold Facts encourages and facilitates scientific polar research, including measuring ice thickness or taking samples of snow. Marc and Philip were on a scientific expedition, researching ice thickness and climate change. 





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Marc Cornelissen and Kimnik out on the ice in April. Her task was to warn the expedition team about the presence of polar bears. This particular dog has experience with polar bear encounters, said the Cold Facts team.
courtesy Cold Facts, SOURCE
Marc and Philips route plan.
courtesy Cold Facts, SOURCE