NEWS

Missing Boaters Found Safe In Northern Quebec

07/10/2012 11:08 EDT | Updated 09/09/2012 05:12 EDT
Search and rescue crews have located two adults and six children who were travelling in a freighter canoe off Nunavik in northern Quebec, CBC News has learned.

The missing group was found safe on land early this morning, having encountered another party of four people about 59 kilometres northeast of Kuujjuaq, according to Lt. Edward Stansfield of the Canadian Forces Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax.

"I understand they're in great spirits, they're in good condition," Stansfield told CBC News, adding that although the group was found slightly off its planned route, search crews don't believe they were lost.

"They've been travelling — the two adults involved — have been travelling this route their entire lives, likely hundreds of times they've done it."

Stansfield said on Tuesday the seven-metre boat was travelling between Kangiqsualujjuaq in the southeast corner of Ungava Bay to Tasiujaq in the southwest.

He said the boat was due to arrive Sunday or Monday, but weather conditions were poor, with rain, fog and winds reaching 40 km/h.

A locally operated Twin Otter airplane was sent out to search the area Tuesday afternoon. CFB Greenwood in Nova Scotia also dispatched a Hercules search plane to the area.

Stansfield said the Hercules dropped provisions for the group, and that the Coast Guard-staffed Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centres had made arrangements to resupply the party at 4 a.m. ET.

"We dropped off two loads of provisions for them just in case, and local authorities have travelled across land and have met up with them and confirmed that as well," he said.

Rescue crews said earlier that they were hoping the boaters had gone ashore to wait out the bad weather.