Wreckage off the Antarctic coast: the discovery of Shackleton's

Status: 03/09/2022 12:01 PM

Over 100 years ago, Stamina was shattered by an ice pack and sank. Now the ship of the polar explorer Shackleton has been found off the Antarctic coast. His voyage is legendary because the ship’s crew survived.

More than a century after it sank, British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship has been discovered off the coast of Antarctica. The “endurance” (German: “endurance”) was found in the Weddell Sea at a depth of 3,008 metres, an expedition team led by British marine archaeologist Minson Pound said. Pound and colleagues had previously mapped the area and used underwater drones to locate and photograph the Endurance wreck.

“We were overwhelmed by our good fortune locating and taking photos of the Stamina,” Pound said. “This is by far the best wooden shipwreck I have ever seen.” Pound said the Stamina is lying in the water and is “in fantastic condition.” The location is therefore about six and a half kilometers from the point where the ship was slowly crushed by an ice pack in 1915 and which was last stated by the captain of “Endurance,” Frank Worsley.

A noble goal

The wreckage research team set sail from Cape Town on February 5 with the South African icebreaker ‘Agulhas II’ – with the goal of finding ‘stamina’ before the end of summer in the southern hemisphere.

OBJECTIVE ACHIEVED: The research team around marine archaeologist Bound, traveling with the “Agulhas II”, has found “stamina” and has already returned to Cape Town.

Photo: dpa

Epic expedition

The 44-meter “endurance” took part in Shackleton’s expedition to the South Pole in 1914-1917. It froze in the choppy Weddell Sea east of the Larsen Ice Shelf and was frozen for ten months before being crushed and finally sank in 1915.

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The expedition became legendary because Shackleton and his crew were able to escape Antarctica on foot and in boats. The team initially camped on the sea ice until it broke off and the sea route went out again. The expedition team then departed in lifeboats for Elephant Island, arriving at South Georgia Island, about 1,400 kilometers east of the Falkland Islands.

The photo shows the fender, steering wheel and aft deck of the wreck “Endurance”. More than 100 years after the wreck of the British exploration ship, researchers found its wooden wreck in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica.

Photo: dpa

“The worst part of the worst sea on earth”

Despite the extremely harsh conditions, the entire crew of the ship survived. Shackleton said Endurance sank “in the worst part of the worst sea on earth”. To this day, the place is one of the most difficult to navigate marine areas in the world.

“With the discovery of ‘Stamina’ we have made polar history,” said John Shears, lead shipwreck expedition led by the Marine Heritage Trust in the UK’s Falkland Islands.

The shipwreck should not be saved, it is protected as a historic site by the Antarctic Treaty. The researchers want to document their amazing discovery with photos and videos without damaging the wreck and telling present and future generations its history.


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