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Expedition sets out to locate Shackleton's ship


Posted on Monday, 28 January, 2019 | Comment icon 10 comments

Will the team find the wreck of the Endurance ? Image Credit: Royal Geographic Society
Researchers with the Weddell Sea Expedition are hoping to find the wreckage of Shackleton's vessel Endurance.
Believed to lie 3,000 meters beneath the freezing waters of the Antarctic, the famed vessel, which carried Shackleton and his crew on the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914, has long been sought-after due to its role in one of the most incredible adventure stories of the modern age.

Shackleton had aimed to lead the first ever land crossing of the Antarctic continent, however the plan was abandoned after the loss of his vessel left he and his crew stranded in the middle of nowhere.

After spending months camped on drifting sea ice, the crew ended up on Elephant Island - an isolated location hundreds of miles from the nearest settlement or shipping route.

In an effort to find help, Shackleton and a few of his men set out across the ocean in a tiny boat to reach the island of South Georgia which was situated approximately 720 nautical miles away.

After several perilous weeks at sea, they finally arrived on the island. Shackleton and two of his men then had to cross the mountainous terrain of the island on foot to reach an occupied whaling station.

Incredibly, in the end, every single member of his crew was rescued.

Now Professor Julian Dowdeswell and colleagues are hoping to make history themselves by tracking down the last known location of the Endurance and using robotic submersibles to find the wreck.

Even getting to the site however will be an endeavour worthy of Shackleton himself.

"We've got a journey of several hundred km from where we are now through really heavy and quite difficult sea-ice," said Prof Dowdeswell.

"We shall do our best to get there with the excellent ice-breaker that we have, but in any given year it will be very difficult to judge whether you will be able to penetrate the sea-ice."

With any luck, the ship itself will still be relatively intact on the sea floor.

"I think that if we locate the Endurance, the greater likelihood will be that her hull is semi-upright and still in a semi-coherent state," said marine archaeologist Mensun Bound.

"However, on the evidence of the only deep-water wooden wreck I have been privileged to study, I must concede that there is every possibility that she could have been wrenched wide open by impact (with the seafloor), thus exposing her contents like a box of chocolates."

Source: BBC News | Comments (10)

Tags: Shackleton

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Impedancer on 27 January, 2019, 7:25
Would be interesting to find that ship
Comment icon #2 Posted by Rolci on 28 January, 2019, 12:49
Was there a skeleton sitting inside?
Comment icon #3 Posted by Myles on 28 January, 2019, 16:06
Pretty amazing guy.  I've never read up on him.   Surprised a movie wasn't made about him and his adventures.    https://www.biography.com/people/ernest-shackleton-9480091 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ernest_Shackleton  
Comment icon #4 Posted by oldrover on 30 January, 2019, 18:02
There has been, with Kenneth Branagh, it was really good.
Comment icon #5 Posted by Myles on 30 January, 2019, 18:14
It's on Amazon Video, I'll have to check it.   Although the trailer made it seem like a TV movie.  
Comment icon #6 Posted by oldrover on 30 January, 2019, 22:13
Yeah, checking it was a two part TV drama, but quality.
Comment icon #7 Posted by Eldorado on 10 February, 2019, 23:01
Antarctic scientists seeking to locate the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton's lost ship, the Endurance, have arrived at the search site. The team broke through thick pack ice on Sunday to reach the vessel's last known position in the Weddell Sea. https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-47192952
Comment icon #8 Posted by and then on 11 February, 2019, 7:02
Clive Cussler wrote a book about a similar expedition:https://www.penguinrandomhouse.com/books/303996/arctic-drift-by-clive-cussler/9780425231456/  based in part on -  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Franklin's_lost_expedition
Comment icon #9 Posted by Still Waters on 14 February, 2019, 12:49
Latest:  
Comment icon #10 Posted by Myles on 14 February, 2019, 13:15
Wow, that sucks.   They lost  the unmanned sub.   I assume they cost quite a bit.     


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