It was supposed to be a day-long polar bear hunt. Instead, two teens found themselves trapped in an icy wasteland for four days.
They were alive but frostbitten when rescued on January 31, one of them 30 kilometers from their abandoned snowmobile, where he had dug in to escape the cold, and the other trudging across the ice, looking for assistance. Willie Nastapoka, 15, and Kasudluak Kasudluak, 17, were lucky to be alive, said Simeonie Nalukturuk, a ranger who helped in the search for the boys in the northern reaches of Quebec.
He emphasized the importance of traditional Inuit knowledge, according to the Nunatsiaq News.
“My advice is to try and learn the ways of the Inuit, like making a shelter, knowing the land and the ways of the snow,” he said. “If young people learn these traditions they won’t get lost.”
One of the boys is being treated for frostbite and recovering from severe hypothermia in a Montreal hospital, and the other was treated at the Inuulitsivik hospital in Puvirnituq and released, the newspaper reported.
The teens’ survival drama and the family search is recounted in the Toronto Star.