(CNN) – More than a century after it sank off the coast AntarcticaPolar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship, HMS Endurance, was apparently intact and in good condition.
The ship, which sank in 1915, has a depth of 3,008 meters in the Weddell Sea, in the Southern Ocean along the northern coast of Antarctica, south of the Falkland Islands.
The discovery was a collaboration between the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and History Hit, the content platform co-founded by historian Dan Snow.
“This is the best wooden shipwreck I’ve ever seen. It’s erect, emerging from the sea floor, intact and in perfect protection,” said Minson Bond, the mission’s director of exploration, in a statement.
“It’s a milestone in polar history,” he added.
Victory and failure
Irish-British explorer Shackleton had long been obsessed with Antarctica and had made a total of four expeditions to the White Continent.
The Endurance left the UK in 1914 and arrived at McMurdo Sound in Antarctica the following year on a journey called the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition.
However, due to extreme conditions, the ship became stuck in thick, impenetrable ice in the Weddell Sea. The 28 men on board, including Shackleton himself, abandoned the endurance vehicle and set up a primitive camp on ice rafts heading north.
Eventually the team made it to the uninhabited Elephant Island, then some, including Shackleton, volunteered to board a lifeboat and head to South Georgia Island, eventually crossing on foot to the whaling station at Stromness, which was run by the Norwegians at the time, Organizing the rescue of the men left behind on Elephant Island.
Although the campaign was a failure, the team’s survival and eventual rescue months later, without any loss of life, was seen as a victory for their tenacity and Shackleton’s incredible leadership skills.
After another expedition, Shackleton died on the island of South Georgia in 1922, at the age of 47, and was buried there.
After being abandoned, the Endurance Ship ended up sinking in the Weddell Sea, where it has remained ever since.
His resting place was about four miles south of where Captain Frank Worsley, the New Zealander who operated the ship, thought it to be.
Exploration director Pound said Worsley’s navigation records were “invaluable” in locating the ship.
The discovery team departed from Cape Town aboard the South African polar research and logistics vessel SA Agulhas II. The name of his ship and mission was Endurance22.
On board was a mixed crew of scientists, historians and filmmakers who were filming footage for an upcoming National Geographic documentary on a journey to locate Endurance.
Once they got close to where they thought the wreck was, the explorers used Sabertooth hybrid underwater search vehicles, made by Saab, to locate it.
The ship’s name is still engraved on its stern and can be clearly seen in the photographs.
Describing the discovery as “enormous”, Pound said:
According to the instructions Antarctic Treatywhich was signed by 12 countries in 1959 and is the closest thing to a constitution for the southernmost continent, the stamina will not be transferred or dismantled.
Instead, it will remain where it is and will be studied, planned, and photographed there.
Although Shackleton’s name and biography are still famous around the world, Endurance22’s mission is as focused on the future as it is on the past.
Expedition Leader Dr. John Shears said: “We have also conducted an unprecedented educational outreach programme, with live onboard broadcasting, allowing new generations from around the world to interact with Endurance22 and be inspired by the incredible stories of polar exploration, what humans can achieve and the obstacles that it faces. They can overcome it when they work together.”
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