Trapped killer whales unseen Thursday
Orcas had been confined to space of about 30 feet by 30 feet
A group of killer whales that were trapped beneath ice and in danger of dying in Canada's Hudson Bay have so far not been seen Thursday, authorities said.
Inukjuak Town Manager Johnny Williams said shifting wind patterns overnight allowed the ice to break as the 11 whales struggled to stay alive.
The orcas had been confined to a space of about 30 feet by 30 feet, where they used an opening for a breathing hole.
Williams said that he is optimistic the whales were freed and that emergency crews redrew plans for deployment.
"We're in a stand-down mode, but we're still ready to go if needed," said Ray Lee, the president of Kasco Marine, which helped save whales in a celebrated rescue in 1988.
In that incident, three gray whales were trapped in ice near Barrow, Alaska. The story made national news for several nights and was the inspiration for the 2012 film "Big Miracle."
Two of the three whales made it to open water after rescuers used chain saws and deicers from a Wisconsin company to create more breathing holes and a Soviet icebreaker cleared a path through the thickest ice.
Copyright 2013 by CNN NewSource. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.