News release

Canadian Coast Guard to lead helicopter search and recovery operations with ArcticNet in support of TSB investigation in the Arctic

Gatineau, Quebec, 17 September 2013 – The Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) is working to recover its CCG Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm Bo-105 helicopter which crashed in the Arctic Ocean last week. The Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) investigation into this accident is ongoing.

On September 9, 2013, the CCG helicopter, operating from the CCGS Amundsen on an ice reconnaissance mission in the M'Clure Strait north of Banks Island, Northwest Territories, was involved in an accident and sank. None of the three persons on board the helicopter survived.

The TSB investigation team will arrive in Resolute, Nunavut today where they will meet with CCG and ArcticNet personnel to begin the search and recovery efforts aboard two CCG vessels. The CCGS Henry Larsen is immediately tasked with locating the helicopter and providing icebreaking and technical assistance. The CCGS Amundsen will provide search and recovery assistance, and will transport the technical equipment and personnel required to locate and recover the helicopter.

"While there are logistical challenges in planning a recovery mission in the harsh Arctic at this time of year," said Marc Grégoire, Commissioner of the CCG, "We will make every reasonable effort to recover the helicopter as soon as possible, while ensuring the safety of all personnel involved in this mission."

"We know we are facing a difficult environment with weather and ice conditions—and there are no guarantees," added Wendy Tadros, Chair of the TSB. "But the TSB is committed to furthering its investigation to determine what happened in this tragic accident."

"Everyone associated with ArcticNet and the Amundsen program are cooperating fully with the CCG and TSB, and we are allocating our best technical and material resources towards the success of this operation," said Dr. Martin Fortier, Executive Director of ArcticNet and Board member of the Amundsen program.

This investigation is a priority for the TSB.

The TSB is an independent agency that investigates marine, pipeline, railway and aviation transportation occurrences. Its sole aim is the advancement of transportation safety. It is not the function of the Board to assign fault or determine civil or criminal liability.

For more information, contact:
Transportation Safety Board of Canada
Media Relations
Telephone: 819-994-8053

Canadian Coast Guard
DFO Media Relations
Media Relations

Media Relations
Katie Blasco, Communications Officer