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Hunters found on ice floe

ARVIAT, Nunavut -- An Inuit hunter stranded on a drifting ice floe used his harpoon to save a helicopter pilot who had come to rescue him.

Now safe and warm at his home in Arviat, Nunavut, Joe Karetak and his son spent a marrow-freezing 24 hours adrift on icy Hudson Bay before being plucked from danger by a military helicopter.

But that wasn't until they had spent all night in -56 C temperatures after being stranded on the ice floe while seal hunting.

Karetak says he thought their ordeal was over when a Hercules search plane spotted the glow from his son's flashlight on Wednesday.

But the small helicopter that came to save them broke through the ice when it landed.

Karetak barely managed to pull the pilot to safety with his harpoon.

Shortly after, search-and-rescue technicians parachuted onto the ice with rescue gear.

The whole crew was lifted off the ice shortly after by a military helicopter from Alberta.

Karetak says the secret to survival was staying focused until help arrived.


Education head fails

TORONTO -- The director of education at Canada's largest school board has resigned after a plagiarism scandal.

Chris Spence resigned Thursday from the Toronto District School Board after he admitted to plagiarizing parts of an opinion piece published in a major Toronto newspaper.

The board's chairman, Chris Bolton, says the resignation is effective immediately and the board will appoint an interim director.

Spence posted a letter of apology on the board's website Wednesday, saying he was "ashamed and embarrassed" by his behaviour and vowing to make amends.

As an educator, he said he "should know better" than to cite other people's work without attribution -- something he said happened five times in the op-ed he penned for the Toronto Star.

He pledged to take "real and meaningful steps" to learn from and make up for his misbehaviour, including taking a journalism ethics class.


Former premier lands job

MONTREAL -- Former Quebec premier Jean Charest is returning to the legal world.

Charest has landed a job with McCarthy Tetrault LLP where he will specialize in business law.

McCarthy Tetrault made the announcement on its website today.

Charest was Quebec premier between 2003 and his election defeat last September.

He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1981, three years before he first became a Progressive Conservative MP under Brian Mulroney.


Killer whales finally free

MONTREAL -- A leader in a northern Quebec village says about a dozen killer whales that were trapped under sea ice appear to have reached safety as the floes shifted on Hudson Bay.

Tommy Palliser says two hunters from Inukjuak reported the water had opened up around the area where the cornered orcas had been bobbing frantically for air.

The animals' predicament made headlines around the world.

Locals say the mammals had been trapped around a single, pickup-truck-sized breathing hole for at least two days.

Palliser says villagers had been planning to launch a rescue operation this morning to buy more time for the gasping killer whales.

He says the winds seemed to shift overnight, pushing the floating ice further away from the shore to open up the water.


-- The Canadian Press

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 11, 2013 A14

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