Nunavut Hunter Survives 5-Day Blizzard, Loses Both Hands

After surviving a brutal blizzard for five days by himself on the Canadian tundra, a Nunavut hunter was found by a rescue team and taken to a hospital in Winnipeg, where doctors amputated both of his frostbitten hands. The hunter, Ernie Kiinaalik Eetak, credits the traditional clothing he was wearing for saving his life, according to Nunavut News.

Eetak was only supposed to be gone for a day. He left his native village of Arviat on Dec. 3 and was following a herd of caribou when his snowmobile broke down roughly 48 kilometers outside the village. Darkness had already fallen, but Eetak could see the lights of Arviat, so he decided to leave his snowmobile and start walking toward home. Exhausted after a long day, the 41-year-old hunter sat down to rest but woke a short time later when a wolverine passed nearby. Eetak instantly realized that a blizzard had set in, and he followed his foot trail back to the snowmobile.

He tried building a small igloo, but soon lost his mittens in the whipping wind. He then turned his snowmobile on its side and built an improvised shelter with a basic tarp. By that point, temperatures in the area had plummeted to around -22°F. And aside from the tarp, the only things protecting Eetak from the elements were the traditional Inuit clothes that he wore: outerwear made from caribou hides and bearded seal skins, and a pair of sunglasses made from caribou antlers.

Eetak hunkered down and spent the next four days inside the makeshift shelter. Weeks after the harrowing experience, he would tell reporters that he “died for five days and came back to life.” On Dec. 8, the weather broke and the sun finally came out, and Eetak was able to continue walking toward home. He walked for about an hour until a rescue crew found him, and he was immediately medevaced to a hospital in Winnipeg.

Read Next: 7 Hunters Rescued After Being Stranded for a Week on Alaska’s Yukon River

Doctors there were able to save Eetak’s right eye, which had been damaged by ice, but both of his hands were severely frostbitten and had to be surgically removed. Despite the loss of his hands and the near-death experience he had on the tundra, Eetak is looking forward to venturing back out on the tundra to help feed his community.

While recovering at a hotel in Winnipeg, he told reporters, “I can’t wait to see my steel arms so I can go hunting again when I get back home.”

Source Link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Cold morning on the Mogollon Rim

Cold morning on the Mogollon Rim

submitted by /u/drunkbackpacker [comments] Source Link

Four Survival Myths That Could Get You Killed

Four Survival Myths That Could Get You Killed

Spend enough time in the outdoors, and you’re bound to wonder how you would

Home » Survival » Nunavut Hunter Survives 5-Day Blizzard, Loses Both Hands
You May Also Like


Email alerts
Join over 100k outdoor enthusiast and get exclusive deals, outdoor tips and more.

Everest Outdoor Marketplace
Everest is a marketplace where merchants list and sell products related to outdoor hunting and shooting sports, fishing gear, adventure and camping equipment, apparel, and footwear, and much more.

Explore the marketplace