Wreck of the last ship of famed Irish explorer Shackleton has been found off the coast of Canada


ST. JOHN’S, Newfoundland (AP) — The wreck of the last ship belonging to Sir Ernest Shackleton, a famed Irish explorer of Antarctica and the Arctic, has been found off the coast of Labrador in Canada, 62 years after it when missing. The wreck was found by an international team led by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

The Quest was found using sonar scans on Sunday evening, sitting on its keel under 390 meters of churning, frigid water, the society said. Its towering mast is lying broken beside it, likely cracked off as the vessel was sucked into the depths after it struck ice on May 5, 1962.

Shackleton’s death aboard the ship in 1922 marked the end of what historians consider the “heroic age” of Antarctic exploration. The explorer led three British expeditions to the Antarctic, and he was in the early stages of a fourth when he died. He was 47.

The Quest’s discovery was “profoundly moving,” John Geiger, leader of the Shackleton Quest Expedition said Wednesday . “It’s just such a great story. It links Canada to this most-famous-of-all polar explorers.”

Geiger called it a a very important ship historically.

The Norwegian-built ship, used for Arctic research and sealing after Shackleton’s death, appears to be in “incredible condition,” though it was damaged when it slammed into the seabed, Geiger said.

Now that it has been found, the next step will be sending down remotely operated vehicles to capture images of its remains.

Shackleton never achieved his ambition to become the first person to cross Antarctica via the South Pole.

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