Solo R22 pilot rescued after 32 hours on ice floe

28 Jul, 15,

Russian pilot Sergey Ananov was most of the way to completing a solo circumnavigation in a Robinson R22. He had refuelled in Iqaluit, Nunavut, and was on a 500 mile leg to Nuuk in Greenland when contact was lost. He was reported overdue at 3.20pm Eastern time on Saturday 25th July. Weather conditions were hazardous with freezing temperatures and fog.

The search effort included two Hercules aircraft, and a AW101 Cormorant helicopter. A Transport Canada patrol plane and a fishing boat in the area are also assisting. The Canadian Forces Joint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax took the lead role in the task, and the project support team were prepared for the worst.

The rescue was made by the Canadian Coast Guard ship Pierre Radisson after the crew spotted a red flare early Monday morning, the last one Ananov had. CBC reported Kirill Kalinin, the press secretary for the Russian Embassy, saying that Ananov had to scare off three polar bears which managed to get on the same ice floe with him – with sheer lung power.

The ship is now routing back to Iqaluit with the pilot aboard, having been picked up 200 miles out on the 500 mile leg to Greenland

Jeremy Parkin – HeliHub.com

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