Search for Shackleton’s sunken ship, Endurance, underway

By Australian Geographic 12 February 2019
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Shackleton’s Endurance is the stuff of legend, but a team of scientists are determined to find its remains.

SCIENTISTS HAVE begun the search for Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance, the ship abandoned by the legendary Antarctic explorer and his team back in 1915.

The lost ship was reportedly crushed by sea ice, causing it to sink to the bottom of the Weddell Sea, located in north-west Antarctica.

Over five days, The Weddell Sea Expedition will use an autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to search the ocean floor for the ship.

The team are aiming to create a 3D map of the wreckage, rather than retrieving, and take photos, rather than any artifacts.

By using coordinates recorded by Shackleton’s skipper, Frank Worsely – a skilled navigator –  scientists are confident they’ll find the shipwreck, and in relatively good condition.

The ice on the surface of the water at the site has been the biggest challenge so far, but the South African ice-breaker, the SA Agulhas II has managed.

According to one of the marine archaeologists on board, this is the first time people have been in the area since Shackleton and his men.