Tag Archives: trapped whales

12 Orca Whales Trapped by Ice May Be Saved by De-icers: Generators Desperately Needed

Orcas trapped in ice (Monteal Gazette Photo)

January 9th, 2013
(Update 10 pm: Your response has been terrific, and because Kasco Marine is a small company who just stepped in to do the right thing at the right time their system is overwhelmed by all of your inquiries. They have no dedicated web pages or staff to handle this and are working hard to get the equipment and people out to where the whales are trapped, and ask that you support them in this effort by going through the FaceBook group listed below). You just gotta love those guys at Kasco…
The family of orcas who have been trapped by ice in Hudson Bay, Canada may survive if generators reach the people struggling to help the whales in time. Reported in detail on TakePart by David Kirby (author of Death at Seaworld) in Pod of 12 Killer Whales Trapped in Quebec Ice Likely to Die Without Human Intervention,  this situation resembles the plight of three gray whales which were trapped in the movie “Big Miracle”, and saved by a multinational coalition comprised of environmentalists, commercial interests, the U.S. and Soviet militaries, and a couple of inspired inventors from Kasco Marine. (Contact information for Kasco Marine removed to save the saviors!)
Also a FaceBook page has been established to keep you up to date on the plight of the orcas ,  and is spearheading a Twitter campaign to bring the situation to public attention, (use the hashtags #SaveQuebecWhales and #BigMiracle in your Tweets on this). Also please Tweet the following to ask for supplies –

Once again Kasco has stepped up and is sending the equipment that will keep the whale’s breathing hole open until another solution can be found, but generators and fuel will be needed.

Major motion picture, Big Miracle, puts the Hootkin (aka Kasco Marine) De-Icer center stage.

The Big Miracle, starring Drew Barrymore, is inspired by the events that unfolded on a huge ice-sheet near the northernmost town in the United States, Barrow, Alaska. The real-life events starred the Kasco Marine de-icers!
In October 1988, three young gray whales were trapped under the ice near Barrow, and the rescue mission that unfolded captured the world’s attention. It also caught the attention of Greg Ferrian and Rick Skluzacek, part of the Kasco Marine family. The two were sure that their Kasco Marine de-icers could help save the whales by keeping their breathing holes ice-free. The head of the rescue mission told Greg to stay home in Minnesota, which he took as a challenge, and dragged two Kasco de-icers and his brother-in-law, Rick (a Kasco Marine engineer), 300 miles above the arctic circle to Barrow and literally saved the day.
Greg and Rick’s story is portrayed in Big Miracle and Kasco Marine de-icers become Hootkin de-icers, made by the fictional Hootkin Company. Movie characters Karl Hootkin and Dean Glowacki are inspired by Ferrian and Skluzacek, however, neither speak Minnesotan quite the way they are portrayed in the movie!