Subject: Whalers rescued from Arctic ic (fwd)

Mike Williamson (
Tue, 20 May 1997 10:50:48 -0400 (EDT)

J. Michael Williamson
   Principal Investigator-WhaleNet <>
   Associate Professor-Science
   Wheelock College, 200 The Riverway, Boston, MA 02215
voice: 617.734.5200, ext. 256
fax:    617.734.8666, or 617.566.7369

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 20 May 97 11:42:00 GMT 
Subject: Whalers rescued from Arctic ic

Whalers rescued from Arctic ice

   ANCHORAGE, Alaska, May 19 (UPI) -- One-hunded-forty-two Eskimo whale
hunters had to be rescued by helicopters battling heavy fog after
becoming stranded on a section of ice that had cracked and begun
drifting into the Arctic Sea.
   The whalers used marine radios to call search and rescue teams for
help. The rescue effort reportedly took nearly seven-hours while two
helicopters battled heavy fog in plucking the whalers from the ice.
   Hand-held global positioning systems used by the whalers enabled
recuers to locate them.
   Rescue team member David Knowles said everytime a load of people was
brought to shore, the ice had drifted to a different place by the time
they returned.
   The rescue effort began at about 10 p.m. Saturday and was completed
by 5:30 a.m. Sunday, by which time the ice had drifted several miles
from shore.
   North Slope Borough Search and Rescue deputy director Randy Crosby
reported that many of the whalers wanted to stay on the ice with their
equipment, but were advised to come to shore.
   Crosby estimated that the whalers had left behind about two dozen
boats, up to 80 snowmobiles, sleds and camping equipment.
   Some of the equipment reportedly included traditional native harpoons
that had been handed down through generations.
   The whalers were American Eskimos belonging to the Inupiat tribe. The
tribe traditionally hunts for whales every spring, during the bowhead's
migration from the Bering Sea to the Beaufort Sea.