20 tourists survive Canadian Arctic ice breakaway
July 2, 2013 -- Updated 1642 GMT (0042 HKT)
Map: Admiralty Inlet in the northernmost territory of Nunavut, Canada.
- NEW: The 20 tourists have walked to safety after their ice floe drifted back toward land
- NEW: Helicopters are standing by to take them to a base
- The group was trapped on a chunk of ice in the Canadian Arctic
- The tourists, including two Americans, received air-dropped survival kits that included rafts
(CNN) -- A group of 20 tourists, including two Americans, who were trapped at sea on a drifting ice floe in the Canadian Arctic are now safe after a stroke of luck.
Their sheet of ice bumped into another one early Wednesday, the Canadian coast guard said. The second ice floe was touching land.
"They were able to walk from one ice floe to the other to land," marine coordinator Christian Cafiti said. "Everyone is safe and sound."
A rescue plane dropped survival kits onto the 3½-square-mile frozen sheet Tuesday, after the expedition alerted authorities to their plight. The kits included satellite phones, inflatable rafts and food rations.
The plane kept an eye on them while they waited for helicopters to arrive.
When the copters arrived early Wednesday, bad weather prevented them from hoisting the group on board. They are standing by to airlift them to an Arctic station.
"We are having regular conversations with them through satellite phone," Cafiti said.
The tourists do not appear to be in danger of exposure. They are dressed warmly and have been able to remain dry.
The tourists were camping on the ice when the frozen sheet -- three times the size of New York City's Central Park -- broke free early Tuesday, carried off by the tide.
"Ice breaking off is a very common thing at this time of year," Canadian air force spokesman Steven Neta said.
The floe drifted two miles away from land and appeared to start to crumble, Neta said. Had it fallen apart, the three rubber rafts were more than large enough to hold the whole group.
The cold also was not too harsh. Even that far north, daytime highs in June often rise well above freezing.
More than 220 rescued from ice floes off Latvian coast
CNN's Kevin Conlon contributed to this report.
Today's five most popular stories
Part of complete coverage on
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0242 GMT (1042 HKT)
Successful launch of lunar orbiter, seen as a precursor for a planned mission to the surface of the moon, marks significant advance for the country's space program.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1915 GMT (0315 HKT)
Cpl. Nathan Cirillo, shot while standing guard at Ottawa's National War Memorial, was known for his easygoing manner and smile.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2006 GMT (0406 HKT)
Non-stop chatter about actress' appearance is nasty, cruel, hurtful, invasive and sexist.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 2208 GMT (0608 HKT)
CEO's 30-min Putonghua chat is the perfect charm offensive for Facebook's last untapped market.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 0345 GMT (1145 HKT)
Chinese leaders want less odd architecture built in the country.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 2058 GMT (0458 HKT)
Air New Zealand's new 'Hobbit' safety video stars Peter Jackson, Elijah Wood, elves and orcs.
October 23, 2014 -- Updated 1414 GMT (2214 HKT)
A 15-year-old pregnant girl is rescued from slavery, only to be charged with having sex outside of marriage, shocked rights activists say -- a charge potentially punishable by death.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0333 GMT (1133 HKT)
After sushi and ramen, beef is on the list of must-eats for many visitors to Japan.
October 20, 2014 -- Updated 1607 GMT (0007 HKT)
Airports judged on comfort, conveniences, cleanliness and customer service.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 1748 GMT (0148 HKT)
Scientists use CT scans to recreate a life-size image of the ancient king.
October 22, 2014 -- Updated 0959 GMT (1759 HKT)
Despite billions spent on eradicating poppy production, Afghan farmers are growing bumper crops, a U.S. government report says.
October 24, 2014 -- Updated 1021 GMT (1821 HKT)
Each day, CNN brings you an image capturing a moment to remember, defining the present in our changing world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.