Apr 18

Antarctic expedition hopes to find Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance

A scientific expedition will next year try to find the Endurance, the ill-fated ship of Antarctic explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.The vessel sank in 1915, crushed by sea-ice in the Weddell Sea and lost in 3,000m of water. Shackleton and his crew were forced into lifeboats to make an extraordinary and heroic escape across the Southern Ocean. UK researcher Prof Julian Dowdeswell will lead the international effort. He expects to have the cruise on station in January/February. Locating the shipwreck is not the primary goal of the expedition; the major objective is to visit and study the Larsen C Ice Shelf, which last July calved one of the biggest icebergs ever recorded in Antarctica.But because Larsen is so close to the last known position of the Endurance, it makes sense to also have a go at finding the famous ship. “It would be a shame not to,” said Prof Dowdeswell, the director of the Scott Polar Research Institute (SPRI) in Cambridge.

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