POLITICS

Arctic helicopter crash victims' bodies moved to shore

09/12/2013 02:27 EDT | Updated 11/12/2013 05:12 EST
The bodies of the three men who died in Monday's helicopter crash in the Northwest Passage have been moved from the icebreaker Amundsen to shore in Resolute Bay.

The bodies of scientist Dr. Klaus Hochheim, ship captain Marc Thibault and helicopter pilot Daniel Dubé are now with the RCMP in Resolute and will be flown south as soon as possible.

Martin Fortier, the executive director of ArcticNet that is conducting Arctic research on board the Amundsen, said that weather permitting, that flight will most likely take place Friday.

Fortier says two counsellors were flown yesterday to provide support to the 77 people, researchers and ships crew on board the Amundsen that is now docked in a bay off the coast of Resolute.

The crash of the Messerschmitt BO 105S helicopter occurred at 8 p.m. ET (6 p.m. MT) Monday in the McClure Strait, in the Arctic Ocean north of Banks Island in the Northwest Passage, and about 600 kilometres west of Resolute.

The men on the helicopter were conducting a reconnaissance mission on the state of the ice in the area when the crash occurred without any warning. They had flown from the Amundsen.

It was the Amundsen itself that arrived first at the crash site and recovered the bodies.

Sylvain Bertrand, a new captain, also arrived yesterday to take over the helm of the coastguard icebreaker.