Johannesburg, Mar 9 (EFE).- Endurance, the lost vessel of Anglo-Irish polar explorer Ernest Shackleton, has been discovered in Antarctica 107 after it sank, the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT) confirmed on Wednesday.
The mission to locate the ship in the Weddell Sea departed from Cape Town, South Africa, in February.
“One hundred years after Shackleton’s death, Endurance was found at a depth of 3,008 meters in the Weddell Sea,” the search expedition, dubbed Endurance22, said in a statement.
The remains were found approximately four miles south of the position originally recorded by the ship’s Captain Frank Worsley.
“The Endurance22 expedition has reached its goal,” the expedition leader, John Shears, said.
“We have made polar history with the discovery of Endurance, and successfully completed the world’s most challenging shipwreck search,” he added.
Meanwhile, Mensum Bound, the exploration director at Endurance22, said it was intact and “by far the finest wooden shipwreck” he has ever seen.
“It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation,” he highlighted. “You can even see ‘Endurance’ arced across the stern, directly below the taffrail.”
This discovery will not only safeguard the history of polar exploration but also encourage and inspire the next generation with “the pioneering spirit, courage and fortitude of those who sailed Endurance to Antarctica,” Bound added.
The search mission said the wreck is protected as a historic site and monument under the Antarctic Treaty, ensuring that it will not be touched or disturbed in any way during surveying and filming.
Endurance was trapped and crushed by sea ice before it eventually sank only 160 kilometers from Antarctica in 1915, leading its 28-man crew to begin their journey of survival.
They set sail in three lifeboats until they reached Elephant Island, where the majority fed for months on seals and penguins to survive.
Shackleton knew that no one would come looking for them, so he decided to leave 22 of his men on the island and take the rest on a lifeboat to South Georgia in a quest for help.
They reached a whaling center after 17 days. Four months later, they returned to the island to rescue those who were left behind. EFE