3 killed in Canadian helicopter crash in Arctic Ocean

Sept. 10, 2013 at 7:33 PM
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RESOLUTE, Nunavut, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- A helicopter traveling with the Canadian coast guard cutter Amundsen crashed into the Arctic Ocean, killing all three men aboard, officials said.

The victims of the 6 p.m. EDT Monday crash were identified as the pilot, Daniel Dube, age 55 or 56; Marc Thibault, 47 or 48, the Amundsen's commanding officer; and Klaus Hochheim, 55, an arctic scientist affiliated with the University of Manitoba.

The Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the chopper, a Messerschmitt BO 105S, was reconnoitering the ice in the area when it went down in McClure Strait, about 373 miles of Resolute, Nunavut.

A coast guard representative said Tuesday weather conditions in the area of the crash were "clear, with good visibility."

Crew from the Amundsen recovered the bodies, and the ship was expected to return to Resolute Wednesday, the CBC said. The ship had recently departed from Resolute.

"Commandant Thibault and Daniel and Klaus were friends," Louis Fortier, the mission's scientific director, said. "And this is the main message this morning, it's the sadness for those people with whom we've been working with for 10 years now and it's a major loss."

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered the country's condolences to the victims' families and friends.

"It is a grim reminder of the very real dangers faced on a regular basis by those brave individuals who conduct research and patrol our arctic -- one of the harshest and most challenging climates in the world -- to better understand and protect Canada's North," Harper said in a statement.

"The courage and dedication of these three brave individuals will be honored and remembered."

The Canadian Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash.

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