Cool Antarctica

Weddell Sea Expedition Moves On to 'Endurance' Wreck Site

Having successfully completed the pioneering science programme at the Larsen C Ice Shelf, the Expedition enters its exploration phase with the aim of locating the wreck of Ernest Shackleton's lost ship 'Endurance'

LONDON, Jan. 27, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- The Weddell Sea Expedition, which is funded by the Netherlands-based not-for profit charity the Flotilla Foundation, is pleased to announce that it has successfully completed the scientific research programme at the Larsen C Ice Shelf and is now sailing towards the site of the wreck of Ernest Shackleton's lost ship Endurance.

The Expedition's research team of world-leading glaciologists, marine biologists, and oceanographers has collected extensive measurements, samples and survey data around the Larsen C Ice Shelf and A68 iceberg, which will provide new information on this very remote and little studied extreme environment.

The Expedition vessel, S.A. Agulhas II, is now sailing towards the site of the wreck of Ernest Shackleton's lost ship Endurance, which was crushed by sea ice and sank in the Weddell Sea in November 1915.  From its current position, the S.A. Agulhas II still has 120 km of sea ice to break to reach the search area, pushing the S.A Aghullas II to her limits.  However, with ice and weather conditions currently looking favourable, the Expedition is hopeful of being able to reach the search location in the coming days.  

The search area has been defined by using the precise and detailed records kept by the Captain of Endurance, Captain Frank Worsley, who used a sextant and chronometers to measure the exact location of the ship in 1915. On arrival at the wreck site, the team will deploy Ocean Infinity's Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and Remotely Operated Vehicle (ROV) from S.A. Agulhas II and attempt to locate and survey the wreck on the sea bed.  If Endurance is found, the wreck will not be touched or disturbed as its protection and conservation is of paramount importance, but images and footage of the vessel will be collected.

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