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Russian Helicopter Pilot Rescued In Canadian Arctic

The Canadian Coast Guard rescued a Russian helicopter pilot after his craft crashed in the Labrador sea between Canada and Greenland, the Canadian army said July 27.

Sergei Ananov, who was attempting to be the first man to loop around the Arctic by helicopter when he went missing July 25, was found after a massive search operation.

Ananov set out from Moscow in June in a Robinson R22 weighing less than a ton, and had already traversed much of the North American arctic.

An icebreaker spotted a flare fired by Ananov -- his last -- after he barely survived a 36-hour ordeal swimming in frigid water and surviving on an ice flow.

At one point, he was surrounded by three polar bears and screamed at the top of his lungs until the bears left, said Kirill Kalinin, press secretary at the Russian Embassy in Ottawa, who spoke with Ananov July 27.

"He's okay. The joy of being found is the overwhelming emotion that cures a lot of your ills," Kalinin said.

Based on reporting by AFP and