The wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, has been found in the icy waters off Antarctica.
In August of last year, the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust announced an expedition to find the Endurance’s final resting place.
One hundred years after Shackleton’s death, Endurance was found at a depth of 3008 meters/9869 feet in the Weddell Sea, within the search area defined by the expedition team before its departure from Cape Town, South Africa and approximately 4 miles/6.4km south of the position originally recorded by the vessel’s captain, Frank Worsley.
The team worked from the South African polar research and logistics vessel S.A. Agulhas II, using Sabertooth hybrid underwater search vehicles built by Saab. The wreck is protected as a “Historic Site and Monument” under the Antarctic Treaty, ensuring that while the wreck is being surveyed and filmed it won’t be touched or disturbed in any way.
Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust Chairman Donald Lamont said:
“Our objectives for Endurance22 were to locate, survey and film the wreck, but also to conduct important scientific research, and to run an exceptional outreach program. Today’s celebrations are naturally tempered by world events, and everybody involved in Endurance22 keeps those affected by these continuing shocking events in their thoughts and prayers.”
Mensun Bound, Director of Exploration on the expedition, said:
“We are overwhelmed by our good fortune in having located and captured images of Endurance. This is by far the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen. It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation. You can even see “Endurance” arced across the stern, directly below the taffrail. This is a milestone in polar history. However, it is not all about the past; we are bringing the story of Shackleton and Endurance to new audiences, and to the next generation, who will be entrusted with the essential safeguarding of our polar regions and our planet.”
Content platform History Hit has been filming material for a documentary on the search and discovery that will air later this year on National Geographic.