SCI Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance found – in pictures

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance found – in pictures

The wreck of the polar explorer’s ship has been discovered off the coast of Antarctica, the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust has announced. Endurance had not been seen since it was crushed by ice and sank in the Weddell Sea in 1915. Last month, 100 years after Shackleton’s death, the Endurance22 expedition set off from South Africa to locate the vessel

Wed 9 Mar 2022 04.35 EST
Last modified on Wed 9 Mar 2022 07.33 EST
Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance found – in pictures


(The photos are full sized at the link - WT)

The SA Agulhas II, a South African polar research and logistics vessel, breaks through ice on an expedition to find the wreck of Ernest Shackleton’s ship Endurance, undisturbed since it sank in the Weddell sea in 1915
Photograph: James Blake/Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/PA

The SA Agulhas II in ice




Marc de Vos (left), a senior meteorologist and oceanographer from the South African weather service, examines the weather data with fellow team members during the expedition
Photograph: Esther Horvath/Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/PA

Marc de Vos at screen surrounded by colleagues



Photos, video and laser pictures of Endurance are displayed on monitors in the control room of the SA Agulhas II
Photograph: Esther Horvath/Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/PA

Photos, video and laser pictures of Endurance on monitors



The standard bow on the wreck of Endurance
Photograph: Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/National Geographic/PA

The standard bow on the wreck of Endurance




The SA Agulhas II breaks through ice as it journeys towards where it hopes to find Endurance
Photograph: Nick Birtwistle/Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/PA


Members of the expedition team on board the SA Agulhas II as it breaks through ice



A century after Shackleton’s death, Endurance was found at a depth of 3,008 metres in the Weddell Sea, within the search area defined by the expedition team and four miles south of the position originally recorded by Endurance’s captain, Frank Worsley
Photograph: James Blake/Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/PA

SA Agulhas II breaking through ice



The stern of the wreck
Photograph: Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/National Geographic/PA

The stern of the wreck



Members of the team suspended over the ice. Dr John Shears, the expedition leader, said: ‘The Endurance22 expedition has reached its goal. We have made polar history with the discovery of Endurance, and successfully completed the world’s most challenging shipwreck search’
Photograph: Nick Birtwistle/Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/PA

Members of the team suspended over the ice.



The taffrail, ship’s wheel and aft well deck of the wreck. Mensun Bound, the exploration’s director, said: ‘We are overwhelmed by our good fortune in having located and captured images of Endurance’
Photograph: Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/National Geographic/PA

The taffrail, ship’s wheel and aft well deck on the wreck of Endurance



Bound, who is a marine archaeologist, said footage of Endurance showed it was intact and ‘by far the finest wooden shipwreck’ he had seen
Photograph: Nick Birtwistle/Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/PA

Ship sailing through scattered ice



Officers and crew of the Endurance posing under the bow of the ship during the Imperial Trans-Antarctic expedition (1914-17) led by Shackleton
Photograph: Scott Polar Research Institute, University of Cambridge/Getty Images

Officers and crew of the Endurance pose under the bow on Endurance



The Endurance trapped in ice in 1915 before it sank
Photograph: Bettmann Archive

Endurance trapped in ice



Shackleton on board Endurance in London before the fateful trip to the Antarctic
Photograph: Paul Popper/Popperfoto/Getty Images

Shackleton on board Endurance in London



Team members (from left) Shears, Bound, Nico Vincent the expedition subsea manager, and JC Caillens, the offshore manager, proudly display the first scan of Endurance wreckage
Photograph: Esther Horvath/Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust/PA

Left to right: team members Shears, Bound, Nico Vincent, expedition subsea manager, and JC Caillens, offshore manager, hold the first scan of Endurance wreckage alongside photos by Hurley
 

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
Lost and found: the extraordinary story of Shackleton’s Endurance epic



Vessel located more than a century after it sank on voyage of exploration in the Antarctic


The Endurance keeled over in ice

The Endurance photographed in 1915, shortly before it sank. Photograph: Royal Geographic Society/PA

Harriet Sherwood
@harrietsherwood
Wed 9 Mar 2022 13.06 EST




The Endurance left South Georgia for Antarctica on 5 December 1914. Onboard were 27 crew members plus a stowaway, 69 dogs and one cat. Sir Ernest Shackleton, the expedition leader, was aiming to establish a base on Antarctica’s Weddell Sea coast and then keep going to the Ross Sea on the other side of the continent.

Within two days, the ship encountered the barrier of thick sea ice around the Antarctic continent. For several weeks, the Endurance made painstaking progress, but in mid-January a gale pushed the ice floes hard against one another and the ship was stuck – “frozen like an almond in the middle of a chocolate bar”, according to a crew member, Thomas Orde-Lees.

The men could do nothing but wait. After nine months of being beset in ice, they abandoned the badly damaged ship, decamping on to the ice. From the ship they took food, bibles, books, clothing, tools, keepsakes and – crucially – three open lifeboats. The cat and some of the dogs were shot.

1000.jpg

A few weeks later, on 21 November 1915, almost a year after they had set out, the Endurance finally sank. Using basic navigational tools, Frank Worsley, the ship’s captain and navigator, recorded its location. Without that information, it would almost certainly never have been found.

The men formed a plan to march across the ice towards land. But after travelling just seven and a half miles (12km) in seven days, they gave up. “There was no alternative but to camp once more on the floe and to possess our souls with what patience we could till conditions should appear more favourable for a renewal of the attempt to escape,” wrote Shackleton.

When the ice broke up the following April, the crew took to the lifeboats, rowing to Elephant Island, a remote and uninhabited outcrop. The men were exhausted, some afflicted by sea sickness, others convulsed with dysentery. “At least half the party were insane,” wrote Frank Wild, Shackleton’s second in command.

But they made it. On 15 April they clambered ashore on Elephant Island. It was the first time the men had stood on solid ground in almost 500 days.

After nine days of recuperation, Shackleton, Worsley and four others took one of the boats another 8oo miles (1,300km) across rough seas and in biting winds to South Georgia. “The boat tossed interminably on the big waves under grey, threatening skies. Every surge of the sea was an enemy to be watched and circumvented,” wrote Shackleton. It took 16 days to reach their destination.

It was an extraordinary feat of survival, but their epic journey was not yet over. Three of the men, including Shackleton, then crossed South Georgia’s peaks and glaciers to reach a whaling station on the other side of the island. In August, after several failed attempts, a rescue party set out for Elephant Island, where the remaining 22 crewmen were waiting.

In early 1922, Shackleton launched a new expedition to the Antarctic. On 5 January, while his ship was docked at South Georgia, he died of a heart attack, aged 47.
 

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
Who pays for this shit.gotta be millions just for curiosity.
According to the article, the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic seem to be involved. The ship is a South African research vessel.

Here on the Great Lakes, an awful lot of shipwreck hunting is done by private parties with their own equipment, including the vessels themselves and remote operating submersibles.
 
Last edited:

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
Endurance: Shackleton's lost ship is found in Antarctic
_112909951_jonathanamos.jpg
Jonathan Amos
Science correspondent
@BBCAmoson Twitter
Published15 hours ago



Scientists have found and filmed one of the greatest ever undiscovered shipwrecks 107 years after it sank.
The Endurance, the lost vessel of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton, was found at the weekend at the bottom of the Weddell Sea.

The ship was crushed by sea-ice and sank in 1915, forcing Shackleton and his men to make an astonishing escape on foot and in small boats.

Video of the remains show Endurance to be in remarkable condition.
Even though it has been sitting in 3km (10,000ft) of water for over a century, it looks just like it did on the November day it went down.

Its timbers, although disrupted, are still very much together, and the name - Endurance - is clearly visible on the stern.

"Without any exaggeration this is the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen - by far," said marine archaeologist Mensun Bound, who is on the discovery expedition and has now fulfilled a dream ambition in his near 50-year career.

"It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact, and in a brilliant state of preservation," he told BBC News.

Endurance

IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES/SPRI
The Endurance was trapped in sea-ice for months before sinking to the deep in 1915

The project to find the lost ship was mounted by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT), using a South African icebreaker, Agulhas II, and equipped with remotely operated submersibles.

The mission's leader, the veteran polar geographer Dr John Shears, described the moment cameras landed on the ship's name as "jaw-dropping".

"The discovery of the wreck is an incredible achievement," he added.

"We have successfully completed the world's most difficult shipwreck search, battling constantly shifting sea-ice, blizzards, and temperatures dropping down to -18C. We have achieved what many people said was impossible."

Agulhas
IMAGE SOURCE,FMHT AND NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
The Agulhas had favourable ice conditions in what was still a hostile environment




Where was the ship found?

Endurance was spotted in the Weddell Sea at a depth of 3,008m.

For over two weeks, the subs had combed a predefined search area, investigating various interesting targets, before finally uncovering the wreck site on Saturday - the 100th anniversary of Shackleton's funeral. The days since the discovery have been spent making a detailed photographic record of the timbers and surrounding debris field.

The wreck itself is a designated monument under the international Antarctic Treaty and must not be disturbed in any way.

No physical artefacts have therefore been brought to the surface.

Map path

Mensun Bound: "She's sitting upright" on the seafloor

What could the subs see?

The ship looks much the same as when photographed for the last time by Shackleton's filmmaker, Frank Hurley, in 1915. The masts are down, the rigging is in a tangle, but the hull is broadly coherent. Some damage is evident at the bow, presumably where the descending ship hit the seabed. The anchors are present. The subs even spied some boots and crockery.

"You can even see the ship's name - E N D U R A N C E - arced across its stern directly below the taffrail (a hand rail near the stern). And beneath, as bold as brass, is Polaris, the five-pointed star, after which the ship was originally named," said Mensun Bound.

"I tell you, you would have to be made of stone not to feel a bit squishy at the sight of that star and the name above," he added.

"You can see a porthole that is Shackleton's cabin. At that moment, you really do feel the breath of the great man upon the back of your neck."

Wheel
IMAGE SOURCE,FMHT/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
Filter feeders have colonised the wreck but there are no wood-eating worms


What life had attached to the ship?

Interestingly, the wreck has been colonised by an abundance of life - but not of the type that would consume it.

"It would appear that there is little wood deterioration, inferring that the wood-munching animals found in other areas of our ocean are, perhaps unsurprisingly, not in the forest-free Antarctic region," commented deep-sea polar biologist Dr Michelle Taylor from Essex University.

"The Endurance, looking like a ghost ship, is sprinkled with an impressive diversity of deep-sea marine life - stalked sea squirts, anemones, sponges of various forms, brittlestars, and crinoids (related to urchins and sea stars), all filter feeding nutrition from the cool deep waters of the Weddell Sea."

Wreck
IMAGE SOURCE,SPRI/UNI OF CAMBRIDGE
Shackleton (L) looks over the broken remains of his ship just before it went to the deep


Why was this ship so prized?

Two reasons. The first is the story of Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition. It set out to make the first land crossing of Antarctica, but had to abandon the quest when the expedition ship, the Endurance, was trapped and then holed by sea-ice. From then on it was all about survival. Shackleton somehow managed to get his men to safety, an escape that saw the Anglo-Irish explorer himself take a small lifeboat across ferocious seas to get help.

The other reason was the challenge itself of finding the ship. The Weddell Sea is pretty much permanently covered in thick sea-ice, the same sea-ice that ruptured the hull of Endurance. Getting near the presumed sinking location is hard enough, never mind being able to conduct a search. But herein also lies part of the success of the FMHT project. This past month has seen the lowest extent of Antarctic sea-ice ever recorded during the satellite era, which stretches back to the 1970s.

The conditions were unexpectedly favourable.


Sabertooth sub
IMAGE SOURCE,FMHT/NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC
One of the submersibles returns to the surface after another dive to the Weddell Sea floor

Historian Dan Snow describes the excitement when the Endurance was found
The Agulhas wrapped up the survey of the wreck and departed the search site on Tuesday. The icebreaker is heading for its home port of Cape Town. But the intention is to call into the British Overseas Territory of South Georgia where Shackleton is buried.

"We will pay our respects to 'The Boss'," said Dr Shears, using the nickname the Endurance crew had for their leader.

Shackleton
IMAGE SOURCE,GETTY IMAGES
The Boss is buried at Grytviken Whaling Station on South Georgia


Endurance
IMAGE SOURCE,HULTON ARCHIVE/GETTY IMAGES
As the stern of Endurance looked in dry dock in 1914 before departure to Antarctica


All wreck imagery is courtesy of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust and National Geographic
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
So let me get this straight: by 1914, the age of powered, steel-hulled ships was well underway, and these idiots took a wood-hulled sailing ship to Antarctica? Deathwish much?
 

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
From: Shackleton 100 Endurance - The ship of Sir Ernest Shackleton sailed to Antarctica in the Endurance mission

"The Endurance was built in Sandjeford, Norway on the 17th December 1912, overseen by the experienced master shipbuilder Christian Jacobsen at the Framnaes shipyard. It was built for maximum strength against the icy waters of Antarctica and every detail down to each fitting was meticulously planned and carried out in the construction, initially christened ‘Polaris’ after the North Star. When built she was one of the strongest wooden ships ever built, a true legend of the icy seas, crafted for heroic expeditions into the unkown.

An incredibly strong ship, she was 44m long with a beam of 7.6m measuring 348 tons gross, built of planks of oak and Norwegian fir up to 76cm thick and sheathed in greenheart. Her bow had been made from single oak tree timbers selected for their shape following the curves of the ship, with her keel consisted of four solid pieces of oak all adding up to a thickness of 2.2m. With three masts, her forward mast was square-rigged with the two others carrying fore and aft sails, accompanied by a 350 horsepower coal-fired steam engine which could reach speeds of over 10 knots."
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
It was built for maximum strength against the icy waters of Antarctica and every detail down to each fitting was meticulously planned and carried out in the construction, initially christened ‘Polaris’ after the North Star. When built she was one of the strongest wooden ships ever built, a true legend of the icy seas, crafted for heroic expeditions into the unkown.
Evidently not strong enough.
 

Walrus

Veteran Member
That icebreaker is an incredible example of design and excellent care by its sailors. Truly shipshape and Bristol fashion!

That ROV was a cool-looking little tool, as well. Most compact one I think I've seen. I also enjoyed the drone footage of the icebreaker in the video.
 

Dennis Olson

Chief Curmudgeon
_______________
That icebreaker is an incredible example of design and excellent care by its sailors. Truly shipshape and Bristol fashion!

You plagiarized that from TNG! :D
 

FireDance

Has No Life - Lives on TB
That’s amazing. I hate they can’t bring it up.

I don’t understand all the dogs onboard, but…
 

tanstaafl

Has No Life - Lives on TB
The dogs were meant for the sleds. If Shackleton "never set foot on Antarctica," then none of the islands off of any continent are part of that continent (Nantucket, the Florida Keys, the Aleutians, etc. aren't part of North America?) since Shackelton's group most definitely made it to an island off Antarctica.
 

mecoastie

Veteran Member
So let me get this straight: by 1914, the age of powered, steel-hulled ships was well underway, and these idiots took a wood-hulled sailing ship to Antarctica? Deathwish much?
Wood flexes better than steel. That ship was designed to be in the ice and actually give under the pressures. Unfortunately the pressure was more than she was designed for. A riveted steel hull of the times would have been been crushed and seamed long before the Endurance was.
 

WalknTrot

Veteran Member
Wood flexes better than steel. That ship was designed to be in the ice and actually give under the pressures. Unfortunately the pressure was more than she was designed for. A riveted steel hull of the times would have been been crushed and seamed long before the Endurance was.
Yep. She lasted almost a year locked in the ice. Can't fault the ship. Not much would have stood up to the pressure.

The history of the Shackleton expedition is probably the most incredible survival story ever told by the actual survivors.
Freeking miraculous, unbelievable testament to endurance and leadership under hellacious conditions.

Their story will inspire explorers/adventurers and kids-at-heart long after the rest of us mere mortals are dead and forgotten. That's why finding the ship is such a big deal to a lot of people.
 
Last edited:
Top