In July Russian adventurer Sergey Ananov was forced to ditch his helicopter in icy waters between Canada and Greenland. Here he describes his two-day battle against high winds and extreme temperatures â” and a few unexpected guests. I always feel very free, relaxed and happy when Iâm flying helicopters and that was exactly how I was feeling shortly before 11:30 on 25 July. I was halfway through a six-hour flight from Iqaluit in Canada to Nuuk in Greenland. I was flying above a thick carpet of fog and underneath a bright canopy of cloud, steering my Robinson R22 through this fluffy grey corridor, quite alone in the world with the engine noise and a feeling of intense happiness. Next to me, in the passenger seat, sat an extra fuel tank that I had nicknamed Wilson, after the volleyball in Castaway. And 1,500ft (460m) below me â” though I could not see it because of the fog â” lay the ice and cold waters of the Davis Strait. Suddenly, I felt a jolt in the tail and I lost about half the power to the blades. The engine was running fine so I took it to signal a problem in transmission. The speed was dropping sharply â” not good. I didnât want to risk falling like a pebble out of the sky so I made the adjustments I needed to accelerate, which meant losing altitude. The helicopter was shaking and veering alarmingly to one side and within a few seconds it became clear to me that I would not be able to continue my flight. It was Day 42 of my solo attempt to become the first person to circumnavigate the world in a helicopter weighing less than one tonne. A thousand thoughts went through my head, among them this one: âOh God, I have flown 34,000 miles and itâs only 4,000 more till I get my world record in Moscow.â And: âWhy does this have to happen to me here, not above the swamps of Florida or the prairies of Canada or even somewhere in Siberia, where I would just be able to land, get out my phone and call for help?â I switched the helicopter on to auto-rotation, a safety mode that allows it to glide downwards. Dropping through the layer of fog, which was just 200 feet (60m) above the sea, I saw, out of the corner of my eye, an inviting lump of ice. But I was rapidly losing rotation and it would have been dangerous to try to extend the flight to reach it, so I headed straight for the water. Then I took off my survival suit. Wearing nothing but my underwear, and shaking violently in the wind, I tipped as much water as I could out of the suit. Then I put it back on, squelchy wet and freezing cold. I did it up, lifting the ridiculous built-in hat over my head. The wind was absolutely killing me. I got down in a horizontal position and inflated the life raft. It was yellow and square. I tied one end of the raft to my leg and held on to the other with my hand, and hid underneath it, using it as a windbreaker. That was when I started to beat myself up. I was travelling with two trackers, a distress beacon and a satellite phone, but they had all gone down with the helicopter. âWhy didnât you dive in and get them?â I asked myself. âSure, it would have been very unpleasant but you should have dived in.â Still, I felt confident that the alarm would be raised. I had several friends who I knew were monitoring my progress carefully and would see that the tracker on the helicopter had come to a standstill. But I also knew that the trackerâs final position may have been some distance from the place where I landed, and since it was not manually activated my friends had no way of knowing I was still alive.