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Archaeology & History

Shackleton's last ship found on ocean floor off the coast of Canada

By T.K. Randall
June 15, 2024 · Comment icon 0 comments
The Quest
The Quest. Image Credit: Bibliotheque nationale de France
The historic vessel was used during famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton's last voyage to the Antarctic.
Shackleton is perhaps best known for the story of his ill-fated Antarctic expedition of 1915 which saw his ship, the Endurance, sink after becoming hopelessly trapped in ice, forcing he and his crew into a battle for survival that would eventually see every single one of them rescued.

The vessel that has now been found off the coast of Newfoundland, Canada, however, is not the Endurance - it's another vessel that Shackleton had sailed on - the Quest.

The famed explorer had been heading out on another Antarctic voyage when he suffered a sudden heart attack on January 5th, 1922 and died at the age of just 47.

The Quest itself continued in service for some years before finally sinking beneath the waves in 1962.

"[Shackleton's] final voyage kind of ended that Heroic Age of Exploration, of polar exploration, certainly in the south," said shipwreck hunter David Mearns who headed up the search.
"Afterwards, it was what you would call the scientific age."

"In the pantheon of polar ships, Quest is definitely an icon."

The Quest - a schooner-rigged steamship - was found sitting almost upright in 390 meters of water using sonar equipment and while the main mast is broken, it is in otherwise pretty good shape.

"Right now, we don't intend to touch the wreck," said associate search director Antoine Normandin.

"It actually lies in an already protected area for wildlife, so nobody should be touching it. But we do hope to go back and photograph it with a remotely operated vehicle, to really understand its state."

Source: BBC News | Comments (0)

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