The rules of maritime salvage couldn’t be any clearer. The finder must have something of equal value to the salvage to give up possession. Some things, like sunk Porsche models, have a clear market value. But not everything under the sea has a clear monetary value. Endurance22, an expedition to find the legendary missing Endurance ship, has found their treasure. Ernest Shackleton’s three-mast ship Endurance was not a military vessel but a scientific and explorative one.
This ship sank in 1915 after getting caught in the ice. British Historian and TV personality Dan Snow has taken to Twitter to now reveal footage of the Endurance ship underwater.
Who Was Ernest Shackleton?
Shackleton was a man from the tail end of Britain’s colonial era. Of the nation’s last great public heroes, Shackleton’s greatest exploits all include the Antarctic. A part of Captain Scott’s 1901 Discovery expedition, the Captain sent Shackleton on the relief ship Morning. The reason is that Shackleton’s health prevented him from carrying on. The explorer would have many an opportunity scuppered in his career as a result of poor health.
However, what was a knock to his ego in all likelihood saved his life. As Scott would learn in 1912 on the Terra Nova Expedition, the poles are deadly places. Shackleton continued to have a career as an arctic expedition leader. According to Historic UK, he didn’t receive the same publicity as Scott, resorting to funding his trips through his personal wealth.
What Is The Endurance Ship?
The Endurance saw service during Shackleton’s Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition between 1914 and 1917. Built during 1912 the ship supports a crew of 27. Designed and built by a Norwegian businessman called Ole Aanderud Larsen, the boat at first glance met the requirements for an expedition to the South Pole. The plan for the journey was to sail from South Georgia to the Antarctic. Then to depart the ship crossing the ice via the South Pole using dogs and motorized sleds. The team would then meet another group coming from Australia, who would lay supplies and meet with Shackleton’s team. However, this didn’t go to plan.
According to the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust, Endurance got “crushed by ice and sank in the Weddell Sea in 1915.” Found 3,008 meters beneath the surface of the sea the Endurance is no longer a lost legend. The ship hit Antarctic Sheet Ice and could no longer sail. Shackleton’s team abandoned the ship. Taking all their supplies with them, the team sailed on their lifeboats. Making it to Elephant Island, Shackleton’s men were safe for now. In one more act of heroic leadership, Shackleton and some of his crew sailed to South Georgia to organize a rescue party. On a map, this distance does not seem like much, but in reality, the distance is 800 miles.
In the wake of this expedition, Shackleton returned home and joined Britain’s war effort. With continued health issues, his missions were of a diplomatic effort, drumming up support abroad. In one final attempt to cross the Antarctic, Shackleton journeyed south in 1921. Unfortunately, his journey ended in South Georgia dying of a heart attack. He never got to step onto the icy continent.