TORONTO – After years of searching for the vessel that vanished in the Arctic approximately 160 years ago, a Canadian search team recently announced the discovery of one of the two lost ships from English explorer Sir John Franklin’s failed voyage.
Over the course of the past six seasons, Parks Canada has worked with partners from the public and private sector, with this year’s team undertaking the most ambitious search to date. On Sept. 12, the Canadian search team announced the finding.
The discovery of the ship and artifacts, confirmed to be from the 1845 Franklin Expedition, was made possible with the use of Inuit traditional knowledge and modern technology. The southern strait was identified as a target search area as a direct result of 19th century Inuit oral testimony describing a shipwreck to the south of King William Island, according to the a released issued by Parks Canada.
“Congratulations to the Government of Canada and all the partners on discovering one of Franklin’s ships in the 2014 Victoria Straight Expedition,” said Premier of Nunavut Peter Taptuna in a prepared statement. “I am proud of the Nunavut archeology team, and recognize their role in helping to narrow the search by uncovering important artifacts on the land. The Franklin shipwrecks are an important piece of Nunavut’s past, and this discovery strengthens the link between Inuit oral history and modern, global society.”
The 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition team located one of Franklin’s historic ships and two land-based artifacts.
The Franklin Expedition ships, Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Erebus and HMS Terror, are an important part of Canadian history, laying the foundations of Canada’s Arctic sovereignty nearly 200 years ago. Until their discovery, they were Canada’s only undiscovered national historical site and one of the world’s greatest maritime mysteries, according to Parks Canada.