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20 tourists going with a floe in Canadian Arctic

By Kevin Conlon, CNN
June 26, 2013 -- Updated 0129 GMT (0929 HKT)
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • 20 tourists are trapped on chunk of ice in the Canadian Arctic
  • The floe has floated about 2 miles from shore, Coast Guard says
  • Rescue helicopters expected to arrive Wednesday morning, officials say
  • The group, including two Americans, received air-dropped survival kits

(CNN) -- Twenty tourists, including two Americans, are stuck on a chunk of ice drifting in the Canadian Arctic, Canadian officials said Tuesday.

The group was on an expedition in the Canadian territory of Nunavut when the ice that they were on broke away from shore, according to Yvonne Niego of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. The ice floe has since drifted about 2 miles, the Canadian Coast Guard said.

No one was hurt, nor are the tourists in any imminent danger, according to Major Steve Neta of the Royal Canadian Air Force, which is assisting in the rescue.

But, he said, the ice floe is beginning to show signs of deterioration.

A rescue mission is currently under way, but the location is so extreme that helicopters won't arrive until at least Wednesday morning, according to the Canadian Coast Guard.

Survival kits were dropped Tuesday from airplanes to the floating refugees, whose names have not been released. It's currently about 35 degrees Fahrenheit where they are.

The tour company, Canadian-based Arctic Kingdom Polar Expeditions, declined to comment when reached by CNN Tuesday night.

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