The ship of the Anglo-Irish explorer and its great name in the history of Antarctic exploration, Ernest Shackleton, disappeared for more than a century after dying in ice, at a depth of 3000 meters in the Weddell Sea.
A search expedition launched by Britain’s Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust announced in a press release on Wednesday that it has located and photographed the wooden wreck.
Les restes de l’Endurance ont été découverts à six kilomètres du lieu de son naufrage en 1915. the mission.
France Press agency
“You can even read its endurance name engraved in an arc on the butt,” he added. The 100-man team had left Cape Town on February 5 aboard an icebreaker from South Africa, aiming to find the wreck before the end of summer in Australia.
The ship’s rudder is intact, and the equipment remains stowed, as if the crew had just left the boat. The frame, although damaged, is still standing. None of the debris classified as a historic site has surfaced.
In late 1914, Endurance left the British island of South Georgia in the South Atlantic to take the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition led by Shackleton.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the conquest of the poles inspired many explorers. Among them, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his plan to become the first man to cross Antarctica from end to end, from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea. The adventure lasts two years and ends in failure, but Shackleton’s saga in the white hell goes down in history.
After just a few months, the scattered ice pack poses a problem: the ice is denser than expected. In January 1915, the ship became trapped in the Weddell Sea near Larsen Ice Shelf. Imprisoned for several months, the 44-meter-long three-masted schooner slowly breaks down and ends up sinking 3,000 meters in depth.
The expedition became legendary due to the conditions of survival for the crew, who camped for months on an ice pack before it disintegrated, then found refuge on the inhospitable icy Elephant Island, facing the Antarctic Peninsula.
But also because of the daring journey of Shackleton, who departed in an endurance boat with a few companions to seek help as far as South Georgia, before returning to rescue his entire crew.
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In this area, “ice can become very dense very quickly and crush a ship (…) unforgivable,” explained Adrian Glover, a biologist at the British Museum of Natural History, comparing the find to this one. Titanic.
The South African Ministry of Environment, the owner of the icebreaker, indicated that a previous mission in 2019 did not make it possible to find the capacity.
The research expedition, dubbed Endurance22, used the latest technology, including two underwater drones, to explore an area that Shackleton himself described as “the worst part of the world’s worst sea” due to its ice conditions.
Scientists also took advantage of the mission to study the effects of climate change. Stephanie Arndt, a researcher at Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute, said on Twitter that she had collected an “incredible number” of 630 samples of ice and snow.
The crew must now begin their eleven-day journey back to Cape Town.
Along with Norwegian Roald Amundsen, who in 1911 was the first man to reach the South Pole, Australian Mawson and British Robert Falcon Scott, Shackleton is one of the big names in the history of Antarctic exploration. He died in January 1922.
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