Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship has been found 107 years after it sank in Antarctica.
Endurance was one of the “largest undiscovered shipwrecks ever discovered” until it was found last weekend on the bottom of the Weddell Sea by a British-led research team, said BBC.
The video shows the remains of the ship in “remarkable condition” with its wood “split” although “still very much together” and the name “visible on the stern”.
“Without exaggeration this is the best wooden shipwreck I have seen – by far,” said marine archaeologist Mensun Bound, who joined the expedition organized by Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT).
He told the broadcaster: “It’s upright, proud of the seabed, intact and in excellent condition.
The expedition team consisted of 64 men plus a 46 man crew, aboard the expedition ship, SA Agulhas II. The successful mission, funded by an anonymous sponsor in the amount of $10 million, was the culmination of many years of work, after “attempts to find Endurance three years ago ended in failure.” “, report Guardians.
Historian and broadcaster Dan Snow, expedition participant, tweeted that the wreck “is in an amazing state of preservation”.
“The Antarctic seabed is devoid of any wood-eating microorganisms, the water has the clarity of distilled water. We were able to film the wreck in super high definition. The results are amazing.”
Led by British researcher Julian Dowdeswell, director of the University of Cambridge’s Polar Institute, the international mission studied the Larsen C Ice Shelf, an ice floating platform in the Weddell Sea.
What happened to the ship?
Born in Ireland to Anglo-Irish parents, Shackleton was already highly regarded as a polar explorer when he set out to cross the South Pole through the South Pole during the Royal Trans-Antarctic Expedition of the year. 1914.
But he and his crew were forced to abandon their ship, the Endurance, after it was crushed among giant icebergs in January 1915. The ship remained trapped for ten months before sinking. into the depths of the Weddell Sea, watched by Shackleton’s group, who set up camp on the floating ice.
After going out to sea again in the ship’s lifeboats, they finally reached Elephant Island, off the southern tip of Cape Horn, in the spring of 1916. From there, Shackleton and five of his party embarked on “what is considered by many to be the most remarkable boat journey of all time”, says Time Journal.
They navigated to South Georgia and hiked 22 miles through uncharted, glacier-fed mountains to a whaling port, where they staged a rescue mission to rehabilitate the rest of the team.
All 28 men who sailed on Endurance survived, but the ship remained at the bottom of the Weddell Sea, where it had stood for more than a century.
Where was the ship found?
The ship was found on the bottom of the Weddell Sea at a depth of 3,008 meters, the BBC reported.
Over the course of two weeks, the Agulhas II, armed with remotely operated submersibles, “conducted a predefined search area, investigating various interesting targets” until they finally arrived. arrived at the wreck site on Saturday, which happened to also be “the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s funeral,” the announcer said.
The Guardian said the ship was found “about four miles south” of the original position recorded by its captain, Frank Worsley, before the crew was forced to abandon the ship.
The team has now spent several days using “high-resolution cameras and other equipment to create detailed images and scans” of the wreck, says the team. New York Times.
Under the International Antarctic Treaty, the wreck is designated a national monument and therefore must not be touched in any way.
No artifacts will be brought to the surface and the wreck will not be disturbed. Instead, the expanded images and scans “will be used as the basis for educational materials and museum exhibits” as well as a documentary, the newspaper said.
The wreck was only found due to receding sea ice leading to “unexpectedly favorable” conditions, the BBC said. While the Weddell Sea is “pretty much permanently covered in thick sea ice” – making it difficult to get close to the presumed sinking site under normal circumstances – last month saw “levels of sea ice Lowest Antarctica ever recorded in the satellite era”, Back to the 1970s.
It was this “lighter” ice condition that “helped the expedition reach the search site more easily and stay there safely,” The New York Times reported.
https://www.theweek.co.uk/92818/what-happened-to-ernest-shackleton-s-endurance-ship What happened to Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance?