Crew member Emanuel Maktar from Pond Inlet died while working on the Suvak fishing vessel on Aug. 26, eliciting words of condolence from Nunavut’s minister of Economic Development and Transportation on Sept. 13.

“It is with great sadness that we have learned about the passing of a crew member aboard the Suvak fishing vessel. The Government of Nunavut sends its condolences to the families, friends, and colleagues who are mourning this tragedy,” Minister David Akeeagok stated. “This tragic event reminds us of the courage it takes to be a fisherman and the risks of the work that they do out on the ocean.”

Maktar was pulled into the sea while setting gear. His arm got entangled in the buoy-line and he went overboard with the nets, according to Lootie Toomasie, CEO and president of Arctic Fishery Alliance (AFA).

The fishing crew managed to recover Maktar from the water but they could not revive him.

The RCMP concluded their investigation upon the Suvak’s return to Qikiqtarjuaq.

Maktar was described as a “well-liked, hard-working young man” and a regular crew member on Suvak since June 2019.

Toomasie said he was aboard the Aug. 29 flight that returned Maktar’s body to his home community.

“When the aircraft arrived in Pond Inlet I was met by Emanuel’s family, which allowed me to share my condolences with his mother and father on behalf of AFA,” he said. “To help with the cost of Emanuel’s funeral, AFA contributed groceries to the family and Emanuel’s two sisters and aunt were flown from Iglulik to Pond Inlet to comfort his parents at this time. Our thoughts and prayers are with Emanuel’s family, friends, and fellow crew members at this unimaginable time of grief.”

The Suvak is operated under the AFA, which is a 100 per cent Inuit-owned and governed partnership involving the communities of Qikiqtarjuaq, Grise Fiord, Arctic Bay and Resolute Bay and their respective hunters and trappers associations.

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