A modified F-150 truck that went through the Kitikmeot ice during a global expedition’s trial run in March has been recovered, the group says.
The Transglobal Car Expedition lost the truck on its return from Resolute Bay to Yellowknife while scouting a route it intends to use as part of a round-the-world drive in 2024.
On Wednesday, the expedition team said divers floated the truck – which sank near Nunavut’s Tasmania Islands – using airbags before a helicopter airlifted the vehicle to Gjoa Haven.
The vehicle is almost certainly too corroded to be salvaged, the team said in a news release.
“This recovery operation was never about getting a truck back. It was about doing the right thing and respecting the land,” stated Andrew Comrie-Picard, a Canadian member of the expedition.
The Transglobal team – which also includes both Russian and Ukrainian members – had to a dramatic introduction to the North in March. When the group’s Russian-chartered jet landed in Yellowknife, it violated a newly imposed ban on such aircraft in Canadian airspace following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Separately, the expedition faced criticism ahead of its trial run for a lack of communication with local and Indigenous governments along its proposed route. Then the truck fell through the ice, raising environmental concerns among nearby Inuit residents.
Transglobal has used its bid to rescue the truck as a chance to make a good second impression, given the necessity of crossing the same land in 2024 to complete its planned round-the-world voyage.
In recent news releases, the expedition has emphasized its hiring of Inuit workers to help recover the F-150 and pledged to practise environmental responsibility.
“The recovery team left the site in pristine condition, with the determined intentions of preserving the fragile Arctic ecosystem,” Wednesday’s news release stated.