This Sunday, August 28, rescue divers and helicopter teams salvaged a truck from the Arctic Ocean that had been lost on an expedition last March.
The original expedition and subsequent salvage mission was organized by Transglobal Car Expedition, but Icelandic company Arctic Trucks was also involved and present for both.
The truck in question was lost this March it fell through the ice on an expedition, which was an attempt to drive from Yellowknife, Canada to Resolute Bay. The trip was training for a larger expedition around the world, but it was cut short when one of the trucks was lost to the ice. Luckily, all of the crew escaped safely.
However, local communities critiqued the expedition operator, and said that the truck threatened to pollute traditional fishing grounds.
Emil Grímsson, a representative for the expedition, said in a statement that although they did not want to minimize concerns over potential pollution, that they would have to wait for suitable conditions to salvage the truck.
The conditions were finally right last week, and the truck was successfully lifted from its resting place, 15m beneath the sea. Due to unfavorable water currents, dive teams working in coordination with a helicopter only had several short windows in which to carry out the operation.
In a public post on their Facebook, Arctic Trucks stated: “Two boats were first launched to explore the area and locate the AT44. The diving team then began inspecting the vehicle underwater. Despite initially strong currents and rapid ice movement nearby, subsequent good weather conditions, clear water and superb visibility in the Arctic Ocean aided swift progress. After carefully attaching the lines and flotation bags, the truck (still upside down) was carefully moved to a shallower depth, before being turned onto its wheels and pulled onshore. The team were also able to recover all the equipment and personal items from the vehicle.”
After the fourth attempt, the truck was finally lifted onto land, as can be seen in the dramatic photographs above.
Upon recovering the vehicle, Arctic Trucks stated: “The vehicle will now be made ready for loading onto the next available sealift vessel to Montreal. The safe and successful completion of this recovery operation left the site in pristine condition, preserving the beautiful yet fragile Arctic ecosystem.”
The truck is considered a total loss after nearly a half year under water.
In addition to the salvage teams, local residents were present as well. In a statement, a team member called it a privilege to work with them, and that it was an honor to be shown their camps and hunting grounds that stretch back for hundreds of years.