Canadian Coast Guard in Mourning
Late in the afternoon of September 9, 2013, the helicopter assigned to Canadian Coast Guard Ship CCGS Amundsen crashed in the Arctic, resulting in the deaths of the three people onboard: CCGS Commanding Officer Marc Thibault, helicopter pilot Daniel Dubé, and University of Manitoba Scientist and ArcticNet Network member Dr. Klaus Hochheim. These three men were onboard a BO-105 helicopter on an ice reconnaissance mission in the M'Clure Strait, north of Banks Island in the Northwest Territories.
The icebreaker had lost all contact with the helicopter and went to its last reported location. There, crew members found the bodies of their three colleagues. The circumstances surrounding this tragedy are still unknown. An investigation by the Transportation Safety Board of Canada (TSB) is underway.
Funeral services were held in Québec on September 23, 2013, where Marc Thibault and Daniel Dubé were eulogized by loved ones, friends and colleagues. That same day, the CCG helicopter wreckage was located at a depth of over 450 metres in the M'Clure Strait. ArcticNet used the remotely operated submersible vehicle onboard the Amundsen to locate the wreckage.
A few days later, the helicopter was winched up by a team consisting of CCGS Amundsen and Henry Larsen crew members, ArcticNet members and TSB employees. The wreckage is now housed in a technical laboratory, where the TSB will conduct a detailed analysis.
Thankfully, tragedies like this are few and far between, but one is already too many. Our thoughts go out to the families and friends of those lost and we offer them our heartfelt condolences.
Captain Marc Thibault
was a trusted commanding
officer and employee of
the Canadian Coast Guard
for 29 years.
© É. Côté
Daniel Dubé was an
experienced pilot with 28
years' experience piloting
Canadian Coast Guard
Mario Pelletier, Assistant Commissioner
Canadian Coast Guard, Central and Arctic Region