Update - August 25
The Akademik Sergey Vavilov had first sighting of the Akademik Ioffe at 3:30 a.m. It reached the distressed ship at 5:50 a.m. It was the first vessel at the scene.
Russian-flagged One Ocean Expeditions ship Akademik Ioffe has grounded amid the Astronomical Society Islands in the western Gulf of Boothia near Kugaaruk, Nunavut. No injuries have been reported and Ioffe is considered in stable condition and in no further imminent danger.
"All passengers are well taken care of. There has been no report of environmental concern," wrote OOE in a release.
Ioffe and sister ship Akademik Sergey Vavilov were both forced to use the small community in Pelly Bay as an alternate embarkation port this week because heavy ice conditions in the central Arctic prevented the ships from reaching the larger communities of Cambridge Bay or Resolute.
Ioffe loaded on a new group of passengers on August 23, and Vavilov was scheduled to follow suit on the 24th. However, Vavilov is now on its way to aid her stricken sister ship.
Canadian Coast Guard ships Pierre Radisson and Amundsen are also steaming to assist the ship. It's estimated the first ship will reach Ioffe in the early hours of August 25.
Both ships are on Royal Canadian Geographical Society-partnered expeditions. Fellows-on-Board Ioffe include Scotiabank Giller Prize-shortlisted author Ed O’Loughlin and writer Noah Richler.
“I am deeply impressed by the professionalism of the One Ocean Expeditions' staff. This is obviously a very stressful time for everybody, but the mood is upbeat and determined,” said RCGS CEO John Geiger, who is aboard Vavilov. “This is a reminder that expeditionary cruises are just that. With ice involved, and the maze of waterways in the Arctic Archipelago, no matter how expert the captain and expedition leader, there remains an element of risk.”