The team used specialized equipment and carefully planned each step until it successfully executed the lift of the vehicle on August 27, 2022. The operation started with the underwater recovery phase, where experienced cold-water divers had to carefully raise the truck off the ocean floor using airbags, then tow the vehicle, still under the surface, out of the strong current and near to the shore of the island. They then turned the vehicle upright with cables and airbags, then raised it to the surface before pulling it to shore. The vehicle was inspected on land and prepared for airlift by sling.
August 30, 2022
Gjoa Haven, Nunavut, Canada
The Transglobal Car Expedition by GoodGear.org has successfully completed the recovery operation of the Arctic Trucks AT44 F-150 vehicle lost through the ice near the Qikirtat (Tasmania) Islands, Nunavut, on 23 March 2022. The international recovery team of highly experienced personnel worked closely with the regional administrations and local communities, and had the benefit of four Inuit team members in the group of 12 people on the extraction crew.
Coldstream Helicopters’ heavy lift Airbus Super Puma helicopter delivered the Arctic Trucks AT44 F-150 to Gjoa Haven, where it will be made ready for the next available sealift vessel to Montreal. However, with corrosion of the electronics and aluminum components, it is not expected that the vehicle can be salvaged for use.
“This recovery operation was never about getting a truck back. It was about doing the right thing and respecting the land,” said Andrew Comrie-Picard, a Canadian team member. “It was very powerful to see the helicopter carry the truck over the horizon and hear the sudden silence and the water dripping off the ice floes. With one-third of our team being Inuit it was a privilege to have them with us to show us the tent circles and meat caches that went back hundreds of years, on an island that a passing boat would consider uninhabited. It is not. It is the land of their ancestors.” The recovery team left the site in pristine condition, with the determined intentions of preserving the fragile Arctic ecosystem.
The Transglobal Car Expedition by GoodGear.org expresses gratitude to all the participants involved in the operation, including local communities, regional and federal authorities for ensuring safety, managing the risks, and contributing to the successful recovery operation.
Emil Grimsson, Icelandic team member and principal of Arctic Trucks, added “My feeling of seeing the car coming back after five months of preparations and hard work on the extraction gave a sense of completion and is a testament to the ability of expert teamwork to achieve a very, very difficult task. With all our work in Iceland and Antarctica, we always seek to respect the environment, and I’m glad we were able to do that here.”
The parent organization of the Transglobal Car Expedition is the Swiss non-profit GoodGear, which seeks to bring innovative technologies to locations around the world for the betterment of local communities and the advancement of scientific research.
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