Culture

Search for Shackleton’s lost ship

The Weddell Sea 2019 expedition set off in January to uncover vital scientific data about the ice shelves in the Weddell sea in Antarctica. After successfully completing this task it has turned its attention to its second expeditionary aim, to find the wreckage of Shackleton’s ship the Endurance. The expedition hopes to use cutting edge technology to find and photograph the Endurance which sank there over a hundred years ago.

The Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition led by legendary polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton aimed to be the first expedition to cross the entire  Antarctic continent on foot.

Sir Ernest Shackleton. Credit: wikicommons

However, disaster struck when the Endurance was trapped by the ice and was eventually sunk leaving all 28 men abandoned in the remotest part of the globe. Shackleton launched the most daring survival mission known to mankind. Five men sailed from Elephant Island across 800 miles of the roughest oceans to the nearest point of human habitation, South Georgia. Only to discover that what lay ahead was a perilous trek across unknown mountains and glacier ranges. Shackleton along with two others crossed the island to reach the manned whaling station. From there the alarm was raised and after four attempts he was successful in rescuing all of his stranded men.

Rescue mission launches from Elephant island. Credit: wikicommons

The 2019 expedition is currently at the last known location of the Endurance. They are employing hi-tech submersibles to explore the ocean floor to find the wreckage. To keep up to date with the expeditions progress visit https://weddellseaexpedition.org/

The Endurance after being crushed in the ice. Credit: Royal Geographical Society 

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