The worst thing that could go wrong when off-roading in the Arctic is the ice giving way and your car falling through.
And that’s exactly what happened to a group of adventurers who were exploring northern Canada.
The car was an Arctic Trucks AT44, a modified Ford F-150 designed specifically for driving in cold, snowy conditions.
The car was part of the Transglobal Car Expedition which was traveling 50,000km from the North Pole to the South Pole.
The vehicle went through the ice back in March this year after the tour successfully completed the world’s first overland wheeled crossing from Canada’s continental shelf to the high Arctic.
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This incident occurred in Nunavut while the vehicles were being returned to Cambridge Bay.
In a statement, it’s claimed that the vehicle “was lost through the surface in an area of rapidly shifting ice on a heavy current,” and that no one was injured.
Now, after five months of planning, the vehicle has finally been retrieved from beneath the ice.
The massive recovery operation involved experienced Arctic divers who helped float the vehicle to the surface using special ‘airbags’.
Once tied to an island near the surface, a helicopter was then used to lift it out and transport it 300km to Gjoa Haven.
Local hunters were employed as wildlife monitors to keep the recovery team safe.
A film crew was also there to capture the whole thing on camera.
The tour company described the Arctic as “one of the most fragile ecosystems on the planet”, and said “any pollution there can have irreversible consequences”.
“This is an international team of the best in the world in polar wheeled travel,” Andrew Comrie-Picard, a member of the expedition said.
“Our respect for the land motivates our desire to do the right thing to remediate the area, and also bring the world’s eyes to one of the most pristine and beautiful places on the planet.”
It has been confirmed by the company that the pickup was successfully recovered taken to Gjoa Haven, leaving the site in “pristine condition”.
The expedition is being run by the Swiss non-profit organization GoodGear.
The team included 16 people from all corners of the world including America, Canada, Ukraine, Russia, and Iceland.
Its full circumnavigation of the globe is planned to be completed in 2024.