'Endurance': Sir Ernest Shackleton's ship found 107 years after sinking off Antarctica

'By far the finest wooden shipwreck' found 100 years after death of famous Anglo-Irish explorer

Ernest Shackleton's lost ship found off the coast of Antarctica

Ernest Shackleton's lost ship found off the coast of Antarctica
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The wreck of Anglo-Irish explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship Endurance has been found — 107 years after it sank off the coast of Antarctica.

Footage of the wooden ship, which became trapped in sea ice and went down in the Weddell Sea in 1915, has now emerged after the discovery.

In February, the Endurance22 Expedition set off from Cape Town, South Africa — a month after the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s death — on a mission to locate the vessel.

The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust said the ship was found at a depth of 3,008 metres, 6.4 kilometres south of the position originally recorded by the ship’s captain, Frank Worsley.

The expedition’s director of exploration Mensun Bound said footage of Endurance showed it to be intact and “by far the finest wooden shipwreck” he has seen.

“We are overwhelmed by our good fortune in having located and captured images of Endurance.”

“It is upright, well proud of the seabed, intact and in a brilliant state of preservation. You can even see Endurance arced across the stern, directly below the taffrail [the handrail around the open deck area]."

Expedition leader John Shears described the find as “a milestone in polar history”.

He said his team, accompanied by historian and television presenter Dan Snow, had completed “the world’s most challenging shipwreck search”.

“We have undertaken important scientific research in a part of the world that directly affects the global climate and environment,” Mr Shears said.

“We have also conducted an unprecedented educational outreach programme, with live broadcasting from on board, allowing new generations from around the world to engage with Endurance22 and become inspired by the amazing stories of polar exploration, and what human beings can achieve and the obstacles they can overcome when they work together.”

Endurance was a 44-metre three-mast sailing ship that was also fitted with a steam engine. Specially strengthened in an attempt to cope with polar conditions, it weighed 315 tonnes.

Shackleton and his crew set out to achieve the first land crossing of Antarctica but Endurance became trapped in dense pack ice, forcing the 28 men on board to eventually abandon ship. All made it to safety.

The explorer died of a heart attack, aged 47, in January 1921, during another expedition to the Antarctic.

Updated: March 09, 2022, 12:50 PM