Shackleton’s lost ship found in Antarctica after a century

LONDON (AP) — Scientists say they have found the sunken wreck of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance, more than a century after it was lost in the ice of Antarctica.

The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust says the ship is 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) below the surface of the Weddell Sea, about 6.4 kilometers (four miles) south of the location recorded in 1915 by its captain, Frank Worsley.

An expedition set out from South Africa last month to search for the ship, which was crushed by ice and sank in November 1915.

Mensun Bound, exploration director for the Endurance22 expedition, said images revealed the vessel was in remarkably good condition.

“This is by far the most beautiful wooden wreck I have ever seen,” he said. “She is straight, proud (clear) of the seabed, intact and in a brilliant state of preservation. You can even see ‘Endurance’ in an arc on the stern, directly under the taffrail.

Shackleton’s 1914-16 attempt to become the first person to cross Antarctica via the South Pole failed – he never set foot on the continent. But his successful attempt to get help at a remote South Atlantic whaling station and rescue his men is considered a heroic feat of endurance. All of the men survived and were rescued several months later.

The expedition to find the ship comes 100 years after Shackleton’s death in 1922.

British historian and broadcaster Dan Snow, who accompanied the expedition, tweeted that Endurance was found on Saturday, “100 years to the day since Shackleton was buried”.

He said the wreckage had been filmed, but would not be hit.

“Nothing was touched on the wreckage,” he said. “Nothing recovered. He was raised using the latest tools and his position was confirmed. It is protected by the Antarctic Treaty. We didn’t want to touch it either.


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