Marooned Among the Polar Bears

Russian pilot Sergey Ananov attempted to set a world record last summer by flying around the world solo in his 800-pound R-22 helicopter. He almost did it, too, but just 3,000 miles from home, his craft failed and dropped him into the sea between Greenland and Nunavut. With the sinking helicopter went his communication devices and most of his survival equipment. All he had was a life raft and his soaking-wet survival suit.  

Sergey Ananov is trapped on a slab of ice in the Arctic Circle. He has no locator beacon, no phone, and barely any water. The fog will hide him from any rescuers. Night will come. Hypothermia will come. And whatever large, powerful creatures that scratch out their existence in this primordial world—maybe they will come too.

His eyes wander past the ice and over the roiling open waters of Davis Strait. He is alone, and with each minute that passes he will drift farther from the spot where the helicopter went down, lessening the chance he will ever be found.

Those who were tracking Ananov’s flight knew he went down, but finding someone in the Arctic waters would not be easy, especially at night. He was found almost immediately -by a polar bear. The story of Sergey Ananov’s survival is supposed to be a “long read,” but once you start, you won’t be able to stop and it won’t seem long at all. Read the entire account at Popular Mechanics. -via Digg

(Image credit: Alexander Gronsky)

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