Franklin's Other Lost Ship Found

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Franklin's Other Lost Ship Found

Postby toucana on September 13th, 2016, 3:42 pm 

Erebus-Terror copy.jpg
HMS Erebus & HMS Terror - Sir John Franklin's Expedition 1845

A Canadian exploration team have located the wreck of HMS Terror, the second of two ships lost during Sir John Franklin’s ill fated attempt to navigate the Arctic Northwest passage in 1845. According to Arctic Research Foundation spokesman Adrian Schimnowski, the ship was found largely intact in 24 metres of water in Terror Bay on the south west side of King William Island in Nunavut.

Reports and an underwater video taken by the Arctic Research Foundation team aboard the research vessel Martin Bergmann show the ship is in a remarkable state of preservation with all three masts still in place and many features such as the ship’s wheel and the coach-house windows still intact. “We spotted two wine bottles, tables and empty shelving. Found a desk with open drawers with something in the back corner of the drawer," said Schimnowski

The other vessel of the doomed expedition HMS Erebus was discovered almost exactly two years ago, about 60 miles further south in Queen Maud Gulf. The Terror remained the largest missing piece of the puzzle, and it has now been found almost exactly where some local Inuit traditions said it had foundered after being trapped in ice for three consecutive winters after 1845.

The Terror was previously thought to have been crushed and broken up in the Victoria Strait, north of King William Island, before sinking. Finding her almost 100 kilometres south and in near-perfect condition — “That’s a shocker,” said Canadian Ice Service research scientist Tom Zagon, who has worked on the search since 2010 - “Terror Bay was not really a super high priority.”

The only remaining mystery is the location of Sir John Franklin’s grave. According to a note found in a cairn in 1859, Sir John died on King William Island in 1847 and was buried there, somewhere on the northern shore.

The large scale search for the lost ships of Franklin’s 1845 expedition is not just a matter of historical curiosity. For many Canadians it is an important part of the Canadian government’s plan to assert sovereignty over the Northwest passage which other countries, including the US, say lies in international territory.
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