The legendary Shackleton endurance shipwreck has been discovered in Antarctic waters

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The wreckage of the steam yacht Endurance, which sank in 1915. Antarctica polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, was rediscovered by searchers using autonomous submarines.

The wreckage of the ship was found at a depth of 9869 feet (3008 meters) under the Wedel Sea in West Antarctica, according to the Falkland Islands Maritime Heritage Foundation (FMHT), which sponsored the search.

It is only about 4 nautical miles (7 km) south of the site designated by the ship’s captain Frank Worsley, who used a sextant to capture the position of its sinking after several months of encircling the ship and eventually crushed by ice.

“This is an important milestone in polar history,” said Mensun Bound, director of the search expedition. the statement said. “We are thrilled that we were lucky to find and make Endurance images.”

Shackleton recorded that in recent weeks, the ship was crushed by masses of surrounding sea ice, which overturned it, laid several boards at the stern and made its wood moan, crack and “scream”.

But the nearly found wreckage of Endurance seems to have survived perfectly, despite all the trials.

“This is definitely the best wooden shipwreck I’ve ever seen,” Bound said. “It is in an upright position, well proud of the seabed, pristine and in brilliant condition. You can even see [the name] “Endurance arc through karma.”

Years of searching

The rediscovery is the culmination of many years of searching for the wreckage of “Endurance”, which became famous thanks in part to dramatic photographs of his immersion and an amazing journey of survival that followed.

But the wreck is just a few hundred miles off the coast of Antarctica; the region is often completely covered by sea ice that has forced previous search efforts to turn back.

A group of searchers aboard the South African polar research vessel Agulhas II finally found the wreckage of the ship on Saturday (March 5) – coincidentally, on the 100th anniversary of Ernest Shackleton’s 1922 burial.

“We have successfully completed the world’s most complex shipwreck search, battling ever-changing sea ice, blizzards and temperatures dropping to -18 C [minus 0.4 F]”- the head of the search expedition John Shears told BBC News. “We have achieved what many have said is impossible.”

Antarctic shipwreck

Endurance wreckage was found by a hybrid submarine Saab Sabertooth, operated by operators on Agulhas II. Robotic vehicles can operate both on a leash and autonomously, as was the case with the last search.

After more than two weeks of searching in a predetermined search area based on original Worsley sextant fixes, Aguillas II noticed the wreckage, FMHT reports.

FMHT notes that the wreckage is protected as a historic site and monument under the Antarctic Treaty, and said it will not be touched or disturbed until it is surveyed with Agulhas II.

The search expedition was lucky with the conditions in the Wedel Sea, which is known to be trapped by ice. Last month saw the lowest amount of Antarctic sea ice recorded during the satellite era, which dates back to the 1970s, according to the BBC.

Insidious journey

Shackleton used Endurance in his third of four expeditions to Antarctica.

He had previously visited the frozen southern continent twice, from 1901 to 1903 as a subordinate of the polar explorer Robert Falcon Scott – during which time he took part in the first hot air balloon flight from Antarctica – and then from 1907 to 1909 when his team reached its intended southern location. magnetic pole.

The team led by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen first reached the geographical South Pole on December 14, 1911, a few weeks earlier than the team led by Scott, who ended in tragedy.

Shackleton’s goal in 1915 was to complete the first complete crossing of the Antarctic continent in dog sleds from the Wedel Sea through the South Pole to the island of Rosa in the Ross Sea – at a distance of about 1800 miles (2900 km).

“Endurance” was to take Shackleton and his team to the south coast of the Wedel Sea for a land expedition. But in October 1915, the ship was trapped in heavy sea ice, and the crew abandoned it and moved everything they could to their camp on the ice.

After the Endurance sank, Shackleton and 27 other members of his crew tried to reach land on dog sleds and eventually on lifeboats, which they rescued from the ship.

In April 1915, they reached Elephant Island on the northern tip of the Antarctic Peninsula; Shackleton and five crew members then set out on one of the lifeboats across stormy, icy seas to a whaling station on the sub-Antarctic island of South Georgia.

Soon Shackleton returned to Elephant Island on a lifeboat, and surprisingly, all 28 members of his crew survived an insidious voyage.

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The legendary Shackleton endurance shipwreck has been discovered in Antarctic waters

Source link The legendary Shackleton endurance shipwreck has been discovered in Antarctic waters