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Casualty NU - Joey Sarpinak, Sandy Kunuk, & Kirk Amagoalik rescued after walrus flips boat, Sanirajak; Mar 2023

Breaking Trail

I am posting this out of appreciation for my easy, recreational, wilderness circumstances. Indigenous hunters have a next dimension wilderness life, and I’m embarrassed mine is so easy.

The hunters’ names are Joey Sarpinak, Sandy Kunuk, and Kirk Amagoalik.

Summary quote:

A walrus hunt turned into a life-and-death situation for three hunters from Sanirajak, Nunavut, on Saturday after the walrus they shot attempted to haul itself onto their boat, spilling them into the icy water.

"The only thing I thought was, we're going to die. That's all I thought," recalled Joey Sarpinak, one of the three hunters now safely back home.

Sarpinak, along with Sandy Kunuk and 15-year-old John Kirk Amagoalik, had gone out in a small aluminum boat at the floe edge near the community of about 900 people. They spotted a walrus and Kunuk took a shot.

Sarpinak said the animal then disappeared underwater before resurfacing. Kunuk got in a couple more shots and the walrus went under again. Sarpinak said he was then preparing a harpoon to ensure they didn't lose the animal if it sank.

"And then, out of nowhere, the walrus surfaced right at the back of the boat and started climbing on top of the boat," he recalled.

"When it's wounded, they are known to climb on top of the ice, so I think that's why the walrus hopped on our boat."

The animal's massive bulk was too much for the small boat and it capsized. The three hunters were thrown into the water but Sarpinak said he managed to grab the side of the boat as it was going over. The overturned vessel then had enough air trapped in the hull to stay afloat, and Sarpinak got on top.

The source is CBC HERE.