Antarctic explorer's sunken ship found after a century

Britain Antarctic Ship
Posted at 12:24 PM, Mar 09, 2022

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 to the Antarctic ice.

The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust says the vessel lies 3,000 meters (10,000 feet) below the surface of the Weddell Sea.

An expedition set off from South Africa last month to search for the ship, which was crushed by ice and sank in November 1915 during Shackleton’s failed attempt to become the first person to cross Antarctica via the South Pole.

Expedition director of exploration Mensun Bound said footage revealed the ship to be in remarkably good condition, with the name “Endurance” still visible across its stern.

"This is by far the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen. It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation," said Mensun Bound, the mission's director of exploration.

According to The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, 28 men were on the ship when they were forced to abandon it.

They reportedly made makeshift camps on the ice and eventually reached the uninhabited Elephant Island.

"Shackleton and two others then crossed the mountainous island to the whaling station at Stromness," The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust said in a statement. "From there, Shackleton was eventually able to mount a rescue of the men waiting on Elephant Island and bring them home without loss of life."