A week and a half ago I told you about a team of Canadian archeologists who were setting out in search of the missing ships of explorer John Franklin, who went missing in the arctic back in 1845 while searching for the fabled Northwest Passage. Just a few days later, the team had already discovered one of the prizes they were going in search of – a rescue ship that also went missing.
Using sophisticated sonar systems, the expedition discovered the HMS Investigator, at the bottom of Mercy Bay. The Investigator was sent in search of Franklin, and his two ships, the HMS Terror and HMS Erebus. The team of archeologists are still searching for those vessels, which were said to have been trapped in the ice when Franklin and his crew abandoned ship while searching for the Northwest Passage, which they believed would open up a faster trade route to Asia. The explorer and his crew would spend three very long years living in the arctic, hoping beyond hope for rescue. Over the course of that time, all 128 men died of sickness, exposure to the cold, and slow starvation.
The Investigator is said to be in good condition and the research team reports that it was discovered within the first 15-minutes of their search. The vessel was abandoned by her crew after getting stuck in the ice as well, but it became an important supply cache for the Inuit people that live in the region. So much so, the ship is actually part of their history and lore, as they returned to it often over the years to scavenge materials from the craft.
I thought that was an interesting follow-up to the story I had just written about. It’s remarkable that they found the ship so quickly, and I’ll bet they wish all of their research were so easy. It’ll be interesting to see if they find the other two ships they are looking for as well, as they will be far more difficult to locate.
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