Dutch arctic researchers missing in Canada; distress signal sent
Two Dutch arctic researchers, Marc Cornelissen and Philip de Roo, have gone missing in Canada during an expedition to the area called the Last Ice Field on Thursday morning.
According to Cold Facts, an organization that supports scientific research in the polar regions set up by Marc himself, the base camp in the Netherlands received an automated message that an emergency pickup is needed at 08:55 a.m. on Thursday. The two researchers started the expedition from Resolute Bay, Canada on April 6th, and up until Thursday all had been going well. All previous messages had been identical: Happy travels, all OK.
The base camp immediately initiated a pick up action from Resolute, the closest base. It was the middle of the night in Canada and the weather conditions were bad, with low-hanging clouds and rising fog. When the pilot reached the last transmitted location he found floating ice which made landing impossible. He also spotted Marc and Philip's dog running fee near a sled. There was no trace of the two researchers.
A search and rescue mission was immediately launched, coordinated by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police in Resolute. The weather conditions worsened, resulting in the search and rescue helicopter being unable to take off. The search and rescue operation was continued with a plane, carrying 4 so called spotters - professional investigators trained specifically to search the ice from the air.
The spotters searched the area around the sled and the tracer from the air. They spotted the wandering dog, a partially unpacked sled near the dog and another sled floating in the water. They also found tracks leading from the sled to the water, but no tracks returning. The search team flew around for an hour and then started searching the surrounding area. They found no trace of people or tracks.
The search and rescue operation has now been turned into a recovery operation. This operation is also led by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.