The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Amundsen has arrived at Resolute, Nunavut, with the bodies of two crew members and a researcher who were killed in a helicopter crash on Monday.
The helicopter crashed into the Arctic Ocean north of Banks Island in the Northwest Territories while on a routine ice reconnaissance mission Monday evening. The vessel had gone through a full crew change on Sept. 5 in Resolute.
The coast guard icebreakers Henry Larsen and Louis St. Laurent are also in Resolute Bay. Helicopters are flying between the ships.
The bodies of Marc Thibault, the commander of the Amundsen; Daniel Dubé, the helicopter pilot; and Klaus Hochheim, a researcher studying sea ice, remain on board the Amundsen.
The bodies will be taken into the community of Resolute and then flown to Edmonton for post-mortem examinations.
The N.W.T. Coroner’s Office, the coast guard, Transportation Safety Board and RCMP are investigating the incident.
People in Resolute are offering their condolences to the families of the victims.
“Resolute Bay residents are affected by this incident,” said Tabitha Mullin. “We all feel sad about this and so does the rest of the community."
The incident puts the Amundsen's scientific mission this fall in question.
Nathalie Letendre, a communications officer for the coast guard, said discussions are going on with researchers at ArcticNet to decide the next step.
“Do they want to continue the scientific work or not? If yes, are you willing to continue under the same schedule. And if not, do you wish to come back to Quebec,” she said.
Letendre said there could be a decision by the end of the week. The Amundsen will remain in the bay near Resolute until then.