IQALUIT, Nunavut - The Canadian Coast Guard has helped an Arctic expedition called "Students on Ice" get on its way after the students ended up with a lot more ice than anticipated.
Over 100 students, teachers and guides had planned to board their educational ship in Iqaluit on August 1, but couldn't because the harbour was choked with ice from Frobisher Bay.
After days of waiting, the Coast Guard ship Des Groseilliers agreed to help.
Students On Ice operations manager Reina Lahtinen says a Coast Guard barge was able to navigate between the ice and bring the students to the Des Groseilliers late Friday.
The students were then transferred ship-to-ship in groups on Zodiac rafts to their own vessel, which was waiting outside in a part of the bay that was ice-free.
Lahtinen says the amount of ice in Iqaluit is unusual for this time of year, and is due to unusual winds and currents.
Students On Ice is a Gatineau, Que.-based educational organization that leads expeditions for high school and university students to the Arctic and Antarctic. The expeditions focus on issues of culture, environment, politics of the polar regions.
Most of the students on the two-week trip are Canadian, Lahtinen says, although some are from other countries.
Latinen says the operation to get them from the shore and onto their own ship took about three hours.