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A deadly storm

Trip to store ends in tragedy

Darrell Greer
Northern News Services

Baker Lake (Dec 13/00) - A Rankin Inlet man died during last week's blizzard that swept through Kivalliq.

Joshua Kasadluak, 21, was visiting in Baker when he left a house at about 3 p.m. Dec. 3.

Kasadluak was only going a short distance to the Co-op for fuel oil and was not dressed for blizzard conditions.

The director of Nunavut Emergency Services Management for the Kivalliq Region, Shawn Maley says Kasadluak purchased his oil and started back to the house where he was staying.

It is believed the man took a wrong trail, headed out onto the lake and became confused.

"Search and rescue (SAR) was notified and started investigating around 5 p.m.," says Maley.

"They were searching 24 hours a day with ground searchers around town. They went door-to-door first, in an attempt to find out if he was still in the town.

"Then they searched the ice surrounding the community, went back on the radio and started knocking on doors again."

When the weather started to clear Dec. 5, the search was extended further from town and SAR members found Kasadluak's machine and then his frozen body at 10:15 a.m.

His body was located about 13 kilometres outside the hamlet, about 1,000 metres from a small cabin.

Kasadluak was wearing jeans, running shoes and a light parka.

Maley says this was not the first time this type of fatality has happened in Baker.

"In the late '80s, or early '90s a bad storm hit and a girl on her way to the Northern missed the store and ended up out on the lake and froze to death. Baker gets brutal blizzards.

"They're even worse than the ones that hit Rankin."

Maley says the tragedy is another prime example of the importance of dressing properly during extreme weather.

"You don't know what can happen. You could be out behind a store, tip your Ski-Doo over, hit your head and, if nobody could see you and you were only wearing jeans and running shoes, you don't have long to survive.

"You should always tell someone where you're going and when you're coming back."