High-tech search vehicles found a famous shipwreck on the ocean floor near Antarctica, an international exploration team announced Wednesday.
The famous polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship, named Endurance, sank in the dangerous and icy Weddell Sea in 1915.
Search teams looked for the Endurance before, but were not able to find it because of the rough conditions. A group organized by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust used special cameras and search vehicles to find the Endurance.
John Shears of Great Britain led the search team, which operated from a South African ice-breaking ship. He and the crew found the Endurance in good condition on the ocean floor about six kilometers from its last-recorded position.
Mensun Bound is the team’s Director of Exploration. He said the team is feeling happy about the discovery.
“This is by far the finest wooden shipwreck I have ever seen,” he said. He called its condition “brilliant.”
Shackleton’s story of survival is one of the most famous. His 28-man crew was trying to make a land crossing of the South Pole, but never arrived on land.
The crew members escaped the sinking ship and all made it home two years after the wreck. The men rowed over 1,000 kilometers on life boats and survived by eating seals and penguins. They eventually got help from people working in the whaling industry far off the coast of the southern part of Argentina.
The successful expedition to find the ship comes 100 years after Shackleton’s death.
Dan Snow, a British broadcaster and historian, was aboard the exploration ship. He said the ship itself has only been photographed and nothing was removed, as it is protected by the Antarctic Treaty. The treaty permits only peaceful, scientific observation and exploration of the area.
I’m Susan Shand.
Dan Friedell adapted this story for Learning English based on reports by the Associated Press and Reuters.
Words in This Story
finest – adj. very good condition
brilliant – adj. very impressive
crew– n. the group of people who operate a ship or an airplane
wreck – n. a ruined or destroyed ship, sometimes one that sinks
row – v. to move a boat through the water using oars
expedition – n. a journey by a group of people for a specific purpose, such as research or exploration