Search resumes for ships lost in 1845 Arctic expedition

Share
Searchers in the Canadian Arctic this summer will try again to find the lost vessels HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, shown in an illustration from the Illustrated London News published on May 24, 1845. (Illustrated London News/Getty Images)
Searchers in the Canadian Arctic this summer will try again to find the lost vessels HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, shown in an illustration from the Illustrated London News published on May 24, 1845. (Illustrated London News/Getty Images)

Scientists are headed back to the Canadian Arctic this weekend to continue the search for HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, ships that were lost after becoming trapped in the ice during the 1845 Franklin Expedition, Parks Canada says.

Canada’s Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq said in a statement Friday that underwater archeologists and other partners will be heading north for the fifth season of searching.

This year’s search effort is expected to last roughly six weeks, and will include a number of partner organizations, ranging from the Royal Canadian Navy to the Canadian Space Agency.

Earlier this year, Parks Canada marine archeologist Ryan Harris told CBC News that researchers are facing an “incredible expanse of ocean to systematically sift through” in the search for the ships, but he remained hopeful.

Researchers led by a Parks Canada survey team will spend their time aboard the Martin Bergmann, a research vessel that has plied the Arctic waters in search of the lost ships before. The Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier will also be involved.

According to Parks Canada, the team will be enhancing its sonar technology this year and will have the use of new underwater vehicles to help as they scour the ocean in search of the lost ships, which set sail from England in 1845 on a search for the Northwest Passage.

Aglukkaq said in her statement that the team has already covered more than 800 square kilometres and is planning to narrow its search.

“Weather permitting, this year’s search will significantly build upon the important scientific and archeological understanding in this fascinating part of Canada’s history and geography,” she said.

Alongside the search for the ships, researchers will survey Canada’s largely uncharted high Arctic waters, the minister said in her statement.

Last year, CBC News staff travelled north and joined researchers and the crew aboard the Martin Bergmann as they searched for the lost ships. Although the lost ships remain elusive, researchers working on the project last year found small artifacts and pieces of human remains.

The data collected will be shared with partner organizations, Parks Canada said, and will help improve information around safe navigation and the Arctic environment.

Related Links:

Searching for Franklin, CBC News

Parks Canada: Search for the Franklin expedition

Share
CBC News

CBC News

For more news from Canada visit CBC News.

Do you want to report an error or a typo? Click here!

Leave a Reply

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.
Netiquette »

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *