Retrieving the accidented car from under
8m of Arctic Ocean.
22 August 2022
17 team members
The day of the incident 23rd March
Transglobal Car Expedition lost an AT44 F-150 (Arctic Trucks 44inch build) truck through the ice near the Tasmania Islands on 23 March 2022.

The project was about the recovery of the truck and shipping it south on sealift retrograde. A small team including two experienced arctic drivers would float the truck using air bags and secure it on the island. At the appropriate time the truck would be slung load to Taloyoak using a Super Puma helicopter, then be shipped south on the next available sealift vessel where it will be delivered to Montreal.
Photo above is of ATP02, Blue vehicle which later broke through the ice.
Around 11pm ATP02 breaks through the ice and comes
to a sudden stop
  • Torfi Birkir Johannsson
    I realized very quickly what was happening, I tried to give it gas to speed up but nothing happened, I quickly went for the radio and yelled “við erum að fara niður” (we are going down) and instructed Brandon to “open door – open door”, I tried to open my door but the car was leaning to my side and the door would not open, Brandon got out and I followed out through the passenger door.

    I suspected quickly that it is deep water under and we will be losing the car, my thinking went “what do we need most before we lose it”. I evaluated if I should go back into the car get a few cloths there, my phone, my computers etc. but decided to jump on the roof rack and get the extra heavy clothing all four of us had stored on this car.

    I managed to free two straps and the four bags, my thinking was we would need this especially if the other car would also go down and jumped off to bring these bags to safer ice.
Operation technique
Team of Operation
Brandon Klengenberg
Torfi Birkir Johannsson
Vasilii Shakhnovskiy
Max Badulin
Jake Stinn
Dave Hord
Colin Allooloo
Árni Kópsson
Jonas Porvaldsson
Paul Hay
Keane Kayak
Tyler Smith
Plan of Operation
22 Aug — Day 1
22 Aug — Day 1
Emil Grimmson arrived in
Winnipeg, taking the carter flight from Yellowknife.
24 Aug — Day 2
24 Aug — Day 2
Recovery team arrived in Winnipeg
Meeting with helicopter crew
Short Stop at Cambridge Bay to visit the Elders
25 Aug — Day 3
25 Aug — Day 3
  • Traveled to Churchill and overnight
  • Flied to Gjoa Haven
  • Deployed the recovery team to Tasmania Islands
27 Aug — Day 5
27 Aug — Day 5
Diving activity and surfacing of the truck
Successful lift from the ocean floor and lift to Gjoa Haven
29 Aug — Day 7
29 Aug — Day 7
Recovered the team and equipment from Tasmania and flight back to Churchill
30 Aug — Day 8
30 Aug — Day 8
Arrival back in Winnipeg, debrief and dispersal
The Transglobal Car Expedition by has successfully completed the recovery operation on 23 March 2022.

The Transglobal Car Expedition by has successfully completed the recovery operation of the Arctic Trucks AT44 F-150 vehicle lost through the ice near the Qikirtat (Tasmania) Islands, Nunavut, on 23 March 2022.

The international recovery team of highly-experienced personnel worked closely with the regional administrations and local communities, and had the benefit of four Inuit team members in the group of 12 people on the extraction crew. The team used specialized equipment and carefully planned each step until it successfully executed the lift of the vehicle on August 27, 2022.

  • Emil Grimsson
    My feeling of seeing the car coming back after five months of preparations and hard work on the extraction gave a sense of completion and is a testament to the ability of expert teamwork to achieve a very, very difficult task.

    With all our work in Iceland and Antarctica, we always seek to respect the environment, and I’m glad we were able to do that here.

The operation started with the underwater recovery phase, where experienced cold-water divers had to carefully raise the truck off the ocean floor using airbags, then tow the vehicle, still under the surface, out of the strong current and near to the shore of the island. They then turned the vehicle upright with cables and airbags, then raised it to the surface before pulling it to shore. The vehicle was inspected on land and prepared for airlift by sling.

  • Andrew Comrie-Picard
    This recovery operation was never about getting a truck back. It was about doing the right thing and respecting the land.

    It was very powerful to see the helicopter carry the truck over the horizon and hear the sudden silence and the water dripping off the ice floes. With one-third of our team being Inuit it was a privilege to have them with us to show us the tent circles and meat caches that went back hundreds of years, on an island that a passing boat would consider uninhabited. It is not. It is the land of their ancestors.

The Transglobal Car Expedition by expresses gratitude to all the participants involved in the operation, including local communities, regional and federal authorities for ensuring safety, managing the risks, and contributing to the successful recovery operation.