Brit Explorer is searching for wreckage of Ernest Shackleton’s ship the Endurance in Antarctica
A British explorer on an Antarctic mission to find Ernest Shackleton’s ship The Endurance claims the find would be ‘bigger than The Titanic’.
A search is on to find the ship of Sir Ernest Shackleton, the polar explorer who made his home in Eastbourne after his expedition.
Shackleton lived with his wife Emily in Milnthorpe Road in Meads from 1916 to 1922 – during which time he took part in the Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition from 1914–17 when its ship Endurance became trapped in pack ice and was slowly crushed before the shore parties could be landed.
Shackleton and his crew escaped by camping on the sea ice until it disintegrated then launched lifeboats for a 720 nautical mile voyage to reach Elephant Island and ultimately the island of South Georgia.
Now, maritime archaeologist Mensun Bound is on an icebreaker in the Weddell Sea, ploughing towards the Larsen C Ice Shelf in Antartica where only a “handful of ships” have gone and will mark the first scientific investigation of the area.
Their mission is to find Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship which sunk in November 1915.
The British explorer wanted to be first to cross the Antarctic but the Endurance got lodged in thick ice.
“It got trapped in the ice, floated around with the ice for a little while and ultimately was crushed and sank,” Scott Polar Research Institute’s museum curator Charlotte Connelly told ITV News.
“So that left 28 men with three lifeboats, no one knew where they were, no one was going to come looking for them - they had to get themselves out of that mess.”
Somehow, six men survived but the wreckage has never been recovered.
Mr Bound fears the chances of finding the ship – sitting two miles below thick sea ice - are ‘heavily stacked against us’.
He told journalists, “There are problems, the one that worries me the most, keeps me awake at night is ice coverage.
“Then we have to ask ourselves, how good is the position for the wreck? Can we find the wreck? We have Worlsey’s (the explorer who served with Shackleton) recorded co-ordinates, but how good are they? The sea is a very big place.