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Ernest Shackleton's last ship found off the coast of CanadaExBulletin

Ernest Shackleton's last ship found off the coast of CanadaExBulletin
Ernest Shackleton's last ship found off the coast of CanadaExBulletin

 


Sir Ernest Shackleton is shown arriving in New York on the Aquitania on a hurried business trip to Canada in January 1921. The last shipwreck belonging to the famous Antarctic explorer has been found off the coast of Canada by an international team led from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

Sir Ernest Shackleton is shown arriving in New York on the Aquitania on a hurried business trip to Canada in January 1921. The last shipwreck belonging to the famous Antarctic explorer has been found off the coast of Canada by an international team led from the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

File photo/AP


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ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland The last shipwreck belonging to Sir Ernest Shackleton, a famous British-Irish Antarctic explorer, has been found off the coast of Labrador in Canada, 62 years after it disappeared. The wreckage was found by an international team led by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

The Quest was found using sonar scans on Sunday evening, sitting on its ankle under 390 meters of boiling and cold water, the company said. Her tall mast lies broken next to it, likely cracked as the ship sank after hitting the ice on May 5, 1962.

“I heard that some Americans were interested in finding the Quest and I just had this picture in my mind of some billionaires on yachts, up in the Labrador Sea,” John Geiger, leader of the Shackleton Quest expedition and chief executive of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, said a audience at Memorial University's Maritime Institute in St. John's, Newfoundland, on Wednesday.

“We've done it the right way. It's not about anybody's ego, it's about telling great stories and celebrating some of the best human attributes,” Geiger said.

He called the Quest a historically very important ship.

Shackleton's death aboard ship in 1922 marked the end of what historians consider the “heroic age” of Antarctic exploration. The explorer led three British Antarctic expeditions and he was in the early stages of a fourth when he died of a heart attack. He was 47 years old.

The Norwegian-built Quest was a schooner-rigged steamship, and Shackleton bought it specifically to travel to Canada's High Arctic, Geiger said. But the Canadian government at the time scrapped these plans and Shackleton decided to set off once again for the Antarctic.

This photo shows the Quest sinking off Labrador, Canada, in 1962. The wreck of the last ship belonging to Sir Ernest Shackleton, an Irish-born British Antarctic explorer, has been found off the coast of Canada.

This photo shows the Quest sinking off Labrador, Canada, in 1962. The wreck of the last ship belonging to Sir Ernest Shackleton, an Irish-born British Antarctic explorer, has been found off the coast of Canada.

Tore Topp/Royal Canadian Geographical Society/AP


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Tore Topp/Royal Canadian Geographical Society/AP

He died when he was near South Georgia, east of the Falkland Islands in the South Atlantic.

After the explorer's death, the Quest was used for Arctic research and then returned to its original intended use as a containment vessel. She sank in 1962 after being damaged by ice in the Labrador Sea while on a whaling trip.

The ship appears to be in “exceptional condition,” although it was damaged when it hit the seabed, Geiger said.

It will not surface, which would be very expensive, he added, but it will be thoroughly documented and studied. A crew is likely to leave sometime before the end of summer to begin filming the ship with a remotely operated vehicle.

In 2022, researchers discovered another of Shackleton's ships, the Endurance, at 10,000 feet in about 3,000 meters of icy water, a century after it was swallowed by Antarctic ice.

A team of marine archaeologists, engineers and other scientists used an icebreaker and underwater drones to find the wreck at the bottom of the Weddell Sea, near the Antarctic Peninsula.

The Endurance22 expedition set off from Cape Town, South Africa, in early February with a vessel capable of breaking through 3m thick ice.

The team, which included more than 100 researchers and crew members, deployed underwater drones that combed the seabed for two weeks in the area where the ship was recorded to have sunk in 1915.

Shackleton never achieved his ambition to become the first person to cross Antarctica via the South Pole. In fact, he never set foot on the continent during the failed Endurance expedition, although he visited Antarctica during earlier voyages.

Sources

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2/ https://www.npr.org/2024/06/13/nx-s1-5004456/ernest-shackleton-last-ship-quest-found-canada

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