Shackleton Shipwreck Search


Posted: 13 February 2019

Quest begins to find sunken ship of Athy explorer Shackleton

Scientists have arrived in the Antarctic to search for the wreck of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship, the Endurance.

The team have broke through ten feet of pack-ice to reach the vessel’s last known position in the Weddell Sea.

They will deploy underwater robots to search the ocean floor.

Shackleton, from Kilkea, near Castledermot and his 28 crew had to abandon Endurance in 1915 when it was crushed by sea-ice and sank in nine thousand feet of water.

Their escape across the frozen floes on foot and by three lifeboats would take three months.

The wooden polar yacht Endeavour is perhaps the most sought-after of all undiscovered wrecks.

But the British-led expedition has given itself just five days to find the sunken remains.

Operating from the South African ice-breaker, the SA Agulhas II (above) - the team’s plan is to put down an autonomous underwater vehicle to map the seafloor for anomalies over a 45 hour period.

There will be no attempt to retrieve artefacts should the Endurance be found. The intention only is to make a 3D model of the wreck site and take photos.

Shackleton’s skipper, Frank Worsely, was a very skilled navigator and used a sextant and chronometer to calculate the precise co-ordinates of the Endurance sinking - 68°39’30.0” South and 52°26’30.0” West.

The ship is almost certainly within a few nautical miles of this point - and there is every chance it is in reasonable condition.

The organisms that normally consume sunken wooden vessels do not thrive in the cold waters of the Antarctic.

 

Source: KildareNow.Com

 

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