In August 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton and his crew left England with the goal of crossing Antarctica on foot – from the base of the Weddell Sea, across the Antarctic, to the McMurdo Strait.
It wasn’t the first time Shackleton headed south. The polar explorer has twice previously participated in expeditions to Antarctica. After the Norwegian Roald Amundsen became the first to reach the South Pole in 1911, the British considered an expedition across the continent to be the main remaining destination for Antarctic polar expeditions.
But the mission did not go as planned. The Endurance was frozen and drifted for ten months before it was finally crushed by ice. For several months, the crew floated on floating ice before they could reach Elephant Island in the South Shetland archipelago, where they survived by eating penguins, seals and their dogs.
Parts of the party moved from there to get help and were eventually able to return to rescue the rest of the crew from the island, according to Britannica.
The search expedition failed, but the Endurance wreck has continued to intrigue people for more than 100 years. The ship is seen as a symbol of the so-called “heroic age” in the exploration of Antarctica, which took place during the first two decades of the twentieth century.
Expedition With the aim of locating the wreck, it was blown up by 2019 due to extreme weather conditions. Then an underwater vehicle got stuck under the ice cap.
Now a new attempt awaits. The Endurance22 expedition was announced, which will begin early next year. The crew then sets out to search, investigate and photograph the wreck, believed to have settled at a depth of 3,000 metres. Thanks to the combination of cold water and low oxygen content, the bearing parts are expected to be maintained relatively well.
It is also hoped that the consequences of climate change in Antarctica will facilitate the international research group’s journey. The mission will be funded by private funds and planned by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, which had previously organized successful searches for German warships from the Naval Battle of the Falklands in 1914.
The ship that will be used for the upcoming expedition is owned by the South African government and will depart from Cape Town.
John Shears, the mission leader, believes the conditions for success are good.
“There has never been a greater chance of being successful in finding stamina,” he told the Guardian.
Minson Pound, who drove it I canceled the search in 2019, so we have mixed feelings about the new campaign.
On the one hand, there is great excitement, on the other hand, I have endured for the past three years a constant grief which we (endurance ship editor’s note) did not find last time. It is never far in mind. That ship always pisses me off, he told the Guardian.
He says the thaw makes the job easier, but he also stresses that the area is still dangerous for regular tourist boats.
– They will rip like an old fish on the counter at the fishmonger, he says.
“Unapologetic writer. Bacon enthusiast. Introvert. Evil troublemaker. Friend of animals everywhere.”