Tuesday, June 6

Found at the bottom of the Antarctic the ‘Endurance’, the legendary ship of the polar explorer Shackleton

  • The wreck of this three-masted ship was found at a depth of 3,008 meters in a perfect state of preservation

  • You can still read the inscription “Endurance” engraved under the railing of the gunwale

“One hundred years after Shackleton’s death, the ‘Endurance’ was found at a depth of 3,008 meters in the Wedell Sea”. This has been announced by the Endurance22 expedition that has found the wreck of the mythical ship of the Anglo-Irish polar explorer Ernst Shackleton, sunk in the Antarctic in 1915. The researchers, who left South Africa last February, have found the remains of this three-masted ship in a magnificent state of preservation.

The remains of the mythical ship were found, according to the text, “within the search area defined by the expedition team prior to their departure from Cape Town” (south-west South Africa), in an area about 4 miles south of the position that the then captain of the ship, Frank Worsley, registered before the crew had to abandon it, when it was trapped in the ice.

“The Endurance22 expedition has achieved its goal. We have made polar history with the discovery of the Endurance and successfully completed the search for the world’s most challenging shipwreck,” expedition leader John Shears said in the statement.

“We are overwhelmed by our good fortune to have located and imaged the Endurance. This is by far the highest quality wooden wreck I have ever seen. It stands tall, proud on the seabed, intact and in a brilliant state of preservation,” highlighted, for his part, Mensun Bound, Director of Exploration at Endurance22.

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According to this expert, the inscription “Endurance” engraved under the railing can still be read on the shipwreck.

The discovery will not only serve to “safeguard” the history of polar research, but encourage a new generation to draw inspiration from the “pioneering spirit, courage and strength” of those who sailed to Antarctica on the ship, Bound said.

On a South African icebreaker

The Endurance22 team -a project organized and financed by The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT)- worked from the South African icebreaker SA Agulhas II (owned by the Ministry of the Environment of the southern nation), under the orders of Captain Knowledge Bengu, and used to the search for hybrid underwater vehicles.

The wreck is protected as a Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty, the search project stressed in its statement, so investigators made sure that while the wreck was being surveyed and filmed it was not “touched or disturbed in any way.” .

An expedition from another era

The expedition in which the Endurance was shipwrecked had left in 1914 to try to reach from the Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea (both in the Antarctic Ocean), passing through the South Pole. After the shipwreck of the ‘Endurance’, which had been trapped and damaged by the ice with its 28 crew members just 160 kilometers from Antarctica, Shackleton (1874-1922) led his men across the ice in lifeboats to Elephant Island, where the vast majority survived for months on seals and penguins.

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Shackleton knew that no one would come looking for them, so he decided to leave 22 of his men waiting on Elephant Island and leave with the rest of his sailors in a lifeboat for South Georgia in an epic quest for help. .

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Seventeen days and 1,300 kilometers later, they reached a whaling center and, four months later, they returned to the island to rescue the whales alive. 22 companions who had stayed behind.

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