In Pictures: Shackleton’s ship Endurance found over a century after it sank
Incredible discovery made by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic.
Over a hundred years after it sank, explorer Ernest Shackleton's ship the Endurance has been located and imaged by a specialist team of researchers.
The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust confirmed that the Endurance22 Expedition has located the wreck of the ship, which has not been seen since it was crushed by the ice and sank in the Weddell Sea, Southern Ocean in 1915.
Endurance was found at a depth of 3,008m in the Weddell Sea, approximately 6km south of the position originally recorded by Captain Worsley, who served as the captain of Endurance on its last voyage.
The Endurance22 team were aided by the South African polar research and logistics vessel, SA Agulhas II, owned by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment and under Master, Capt. Knowledge Bengu. The team used Saab’s Sabertooth hybrid underwater search vehicles to explore and document the wreck.
Shackleton's original mission was to achieve the first land crossing of Antarctica, from the Weddell Sea via the South Pole to the Ross Sea. However, the mission ran into problems due to poor weather, and the ship never made it to dry land and the 28-strong crew were eventually forced to abandon ship. After a gruelling rescue mission, all members of the crew were rescued, but the ship was not seen again, until now.
The wreck is protected as a Historic Site and Monument under the Antarctic Treaty, ensuring that whilst the remains are being surveyed and filmed, they will not be touched or disturbed in any way.
The story will be featured in a special National Geographic documentary, due to air this autumn. It will also be available to stream on Disney+.
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James Cutmore is the picture editor of BBC Science Focus Magazine, researching striking images for the magazine and on the website. He is also has a passion for taking his own photographs