Explorers who inadvertently sank an F-150 in the Kitikmeot in March say a mission to recover it will begin from Gjoa Haven later this week.
The Transglobal Car Expedition lost the truck beneath thin ice on the return leg of an overland voyage from Yellowknife to Resolute using specialized vehicles. Nobody was seriously hurt.
That was a test trip ahead of the expedition proper, which is a north-south circumnavigation of the globe by car planned for 2024.
The expedition is best remembered in Yellowknife for triggering a minor international incident when its Russian-chartered aircraft landed in the city shortly after a Canadian ban on such planes, brought about by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, came into effect.
In a press release on Monday, Transglobal – which faced criticism for a lack of communication with communities and governments ahead of the March trip – said this time it had “worked with local communities and regional and federal authorities to develop a recovery program” for the missing truck.
“The Transglobal Car Expedition team knows that the Arctic is one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet, and any pollution there can have irreversible consequences. Taking full responsibility for the accident, the team has planned all the recovery stages and are now prepared to start the operation,” the press release read.
At the time of the truck’s sinking, expedition members told the CBC relying on ice thickness data gathered on the outbound leg the previous week had been “a mistake.”
Transglobal now says divers will leave Gjoa Haven on Thursday with a plan to float the truck using airbags then airlift it back to the community. It’ll then be sent via sealift to Montreal.
“Following the recovery, the team will leave the site after making sure that it remains in pristine condition,” Transglobal stated.