A mournful incident took place in the Arctic today, when a helicopter crash claiming three lives including one of the commanding officer of one of Canada’s Coast Guard cutters. The commanding officer of the CCGS Amundsen, Marc Thibault, expired along with pilot, Daniel Dubé, and a scientist, Klaus Hochheim, while flying on Monday night when their helicopter crashed in the McClure Strait off the coast of Banks Island in the western Arctic.
A Messerschmitt B0-105 chopper was assigned to the Amundsen while it was on a routine to ice reconnaissance mission for checking ice conditions in the area. Even though Amundsen was following the chopper, it lost contact before the incident. Speaking of the incident, Mr. Harper mentioned in a statement that “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.” He added that “the courage and dedication of these three brave individuals will be honoured and remembered.”
55-year-old Mr. Hochheim was an Arctic scientist affiliated with the University of Manitoba, who was known as a respected climatologist and research associate with the Centre for Earth Observation Science (CEOS). Director of the Centre for Earth Observation Science, Tim Papakyriakou, alleged that “Klaus was a friend and colleague. We’re devastated at the news of his passing.” He added that “Klaus … was a veteran of high Arctic field campaigns and an outstanding research scientist. We extend heartfelt condolences to his family. He will be sorely missed by all.”
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