The Canadian Government, has announced that they will be working with other Canadian researchers to deploy highly sophisticated underwater technology in the continuing search for polar explorer Sir John Franklin’s lost ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. This summer’s two-phased Arctic expedition will focus on further uncovering the story of the 19th century pursuit to find the Northwest Passage and will also include underwater exploration of the HMS Investigator shipwreck located last summer off Banks Island, as well as archaeological studies of related land sites.
Rear-Admiral Sir John Franklin KCH FRGS RN was a British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer.
In his last expedition, he disappeared while attempting to chart and navigate a section of the Northwest Passage in the Canadian Arctic. The entire crew perished from starvation, hypothermia, tuberculosis, lead poisoning and scurvy before and after Franklin died and the expedition’s icebound ships were abandoned in desperation. In its statement the Canadian Government said:
“The Government of Canada is proud to be working with a nationwide team of existing and new Canadian researchers in this search for two of the world’s most elusive shipwrecks. Our collective efforts wil l significantly enhance this year’s search capacity through the use of new technology.”
The search for Sir John Franklin’s lost ships under the direction of Parks Canada will enlist a sophisticated autonomous underwater vehicle to expand the search area, supplied by University of Victoria’s Ocean Technology Laboratory.
Beginning about August 21, depending upon local weather conditions, Parks Canada and the associated organizations will continue the search for Franklin’s lost vessels in the region west of King William Island in Nunavut.