London: The wreckage of polar explorer Ernest Shackletonâ€™s ship â€œEnduranceâ€, 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 Shackletonâ€™s failed attempt to make the first land crossing of Antarctica.
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 vesselâ€™s remains down.
Footage showed the ship in a remarkably good condition, with its name clearly visible on the stern.
â€œWe are overwhelmed by our good fortune…,â€ said Mensun Bound, the expeditionâ€™s director of exploration.
â€œThis 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.â€
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 â€œEnduranceâ€ was found six kilometres from the position recorded by Worsley.