Sunken Ford F-150 Hauled Out of Arctic Waters

by Lauren Boisvert

As we reported on August 24, a rescue mission was in the works to recover a customized Ford F-150 that sank in Arctic waters. The truck was converted by the Icelandic company Arctic Trucks, and it’s made to drive over Arctic ice. It made the first trip from Yellowknife to Resolute, Canada as part of a test run of the 2024 Transglobal Car Expedition.

The truck and its team were on their way back from Resolute when they encountered thin ice. The truck broke through and sank, but luckily no one was inside. No one was injured, except the truck, of course, which sank in the frigid Arctic Ocean.

Now, Arctic Trucks, the Transglobal Car Expedition, and local Canadian authorities and environmental experts had to work together to recover the truck. The plan was to break through the ice and have divers attach float bags to the top of the vehicle. The float bags would bring the truck to the surface, and then it would be lifted out of the water with a helicopter.

“Our respect for the land motivates our desire to do the right thing to remediate the area,” said member of the team Andrew Comrie-Picard in an August 24th statement, “and also bring the world’s eyes to one of the most pristine and beautiful places on the planet.” So, the big question now is, did it work?

Converted Arctic F-150 Retrieved from Frigid Waters

The Transglobal Car Expedition team, along with Canadian officials, first took a boat out to the area where the truck sank. Luckily, it hadn’t moved far despite swift currents. Except, it was upside-down nearly 50 feet below the surface of the water.

Dive teams attached lines and float bags to the upside-down truck, relocating it to shallower water before turning it on its wheels. Then, the team pulled the truck to shore.

The team successfully rescued the truck from the water. Miraculously, it was relatively intact. The only visible damage seems to be a missing left rear wheel. The helicopter–an Airbus Super Puma capable of carrying 4,400 pounds of cargo–prepared to fly the truck 180 miles to Gjoa Haven in Nunavut. The helicopter took four attempts, according to the Arctic Trucks Instagram updates, but finally took the truck away.

From there, the F-150 will sail to Montreal, and from there, we’re not sure yet. Hopefully, it’ll be inspected, repaired, and cleared to participate in the Transglobal Car Expedition in 2024. But, this rescue wasn’t just for the truck. It was mainly to protect the Arctic’s fragile ecosystem.

As Andrew Comrie-Picard said, “This recovery operation was never about getting a truck back. It was about doing the right thing and respecting the land.”