After more than 100 years, Ernest Shackleton’s ship found beneath Antarctic ice

London: The wreckage of polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship “Endurance”, which was crushed by Antarctic ice and sank some 3000 metres to the ocean floor more than a century ago, has been found, a team searching for it said on Wednesday.

The three-masted sailing ship was lost in November 1915 during Shackleton’s failed attempt to make the first land crossing of Antarctica.

The Endurance, shown here stuck to the fast under the Antarctic ice, has been found more than 100 years after it was lost.Credit:Library of Congress

Previous attempts to locate the 43-metre-long wooden wreck, whose location was logged by its captain Frank Worsley, had failed due to the hostile conditions of the ice-covered Weddell Sea under which it lies.

However, the Endurance22 mission, organised by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and using advanced underwater vehicles called Sabertooths fitted with high-definition cameras and scanners, tracked the vessel’s remains down.

Footage showed the ship in a remarkably good condition, with its name clearly visible on the stern.

“We are overwhelmed by our good fortune…,” said Mensun Bound, the expedition’s director of exploration.

“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.”

Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.

Antarctic explorer Ernest Shackleton.

The expedition, led by British polar explorer John Shears, was operated from the South African ice-breaking ship Agulhas II, which was also researching the impact of climate change. The “Endurance” was found six kilometres from the position recorded by Worsley.

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