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Current Affairs

The final voyage of Endurance

Date: 16 March 2022 Tags: Historical Places

Issue

A research team has successfully located polar explorer Ernest Shackleton’s ship “Endurance” in the Weddell Sea.

 

Background

The ship was being commanded by Sir Shackleton to make the first land crossing of Antarctica.

 

Details

  • The discovery of the ship’s remains was made by the Endurance 22 Mission organized by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust.

  • The discovery was made using advanced underwater vehicles known as Sabertooth, fitted with high-definition scanners and cameras.

 

Sir Ernest Shackleton

  • Sir Shackleton was an explorer who started his career in a merchant navy. He later qualified as master mariner.

  • He was chosen to go with Robert Falcon on a polar expedition on board the “Discovery”, before returning back due to bad health.

  • He came closest to the South Pole in 1907 on his ship “Nimrod”. He was knighted post his return to Britain.

  • He made his final attempt to reach Antarctic in 1914 on board the “Endurance”. His ship sank in 1915 but he and his crew survived.

 

The last voyage

  • The voyage started just before First World War and Shackleton decided to take the South Georgia route instead of Falklands.

  • The objective of the mission was to cross the Antarctic from Weddell Sea to the Ross Sea via South Pole.

  • During the journey in 1915, the ship got stuck in dense ice and the crew abandoned the ship and lived in makeshift camps to survive.

 

Survival attempt

  • The crew members used lifeboats to row to the Elephant Island and survived on a diet of seals and penguins.

  • Sir Shackleton and the captain decided to row to South Georgia with some members as rescue from Elephant Island was unlikely.

  • The members rowed for about 1,300 km to reach a remote Norwegian whaling station. Then a mission was planned to rescue rest of crew stuck on Elephant Islands.

  • On the fourth attempt, the remaining crew members stuck on Elephant Island were rescued. Miraculously, all the members of the “Endurance” survived.