Deemed the world’s “most elusive shipwreck,” searchers have renewed interest in locating the sunken remains of Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship. With the name Endurance, the ship sunk in one of the worst regions of the sea in the early 20th century. Its disappearance has fascinated shipwreck hunters ever since.
As per the New York Post, Ernest Shackleton was an Irish-born British explorer. The Endurance, a 144-foot long wooden ship, was intended to take Shackleton and his crew to the South Pole. Once there, the explorer had been intent on completing the first land crossing of Antarctica. His Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition would have seen completion between 1914 and 1917.
Instead, the ship came within 97 miles of the South Pole before the Weddell Sea forced them to turn around. In doing so, they became icebound. The Endurance remained at a standstill for 10 months in the frigidity of the polar region before splintering, its remnants swallowed by the sea.
Miraculously, Shackleton and his crew survived the icy hardships of the Weddell Sea, which the explorer called “the worst portion of the worst sea in the world.”
The news outlet states Shackleton and his crew escaped the ship on foot and by lifeboat, their journey later becoming legendary.
Saturday saw the Endurance22 Expedition officially set off from Cape Town, South Africa. With it, searchers again hope to locate the iconic shipwreck. Should they see success, they aim to film and photograph the vessel lying at the bottom of the sea.
Searchers Hope to ‘Do Justice’ in Locating Sunken Ship
The disappearance of Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance continues to fascinate shipwreck hunters more than a century after its sinking. Now, the Endurance22 Expedition hopes to actually find the iconic ship. The latest expedition comes just three years after a previous attempt failed in locating Ernest Shackleton’s vessel in 2019.
Organized by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, and equipped with a South African icebreaker, the latest expedition will seek to provide the most telling narrative of Shackleton’s ship. Endurance22’s director, Mensun Bound, said, “We very much hope we can do justice to this magnificent chapter in polar exploration.”
When, and if, the team can locate the iconic shipwreck, the expedition’s organizers plan to survey and film the wreck that lies 3,000 meters, nearly two miles, beneath the ocean’s surface. Upon reaching their destination, the crew on board the expedition plan to utilize side-scan sonar to examine the sunken ship. Combined with the technology afforded by underwater drones and 3D scanners, the crew will leave the shipwreck untouched and intact.
Of the endeavor itself, David Mearns–whom the New York Post stated is one of the world’s leading shipwreck hunters–said, “In terms of shipwreck challenges, [the Endurance] is the most difficult.”