PM announces new project to continue search for Sir John Franklin’s lost ships

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HMS Erebus and Terror in the Antarctic

HMS Erebus and Terror in the Antarctic : Wiki Commons

Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper today announced a new project to continue the search for the ill-fated 1845-46 Franklin Expedition vessels: the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror.

The Prime Minister announced the 2012 Franklin Expedition after visiting with crew aboard the research vessel Martin Bergmann, the newest member of the multi-partner project. The announcement was made during the Prime Minister’s seventh annual Northern Tour, taking place from August 20-24, 2012.

“It is truly exciting to be launching this new initiative to continue searching for the lost vessels of the Franklin Expedition.  It is also a privilege to meet with members representing the extraordinary array of Canadian partners and researchers who hope to solve the mystery of the ill-fated HMS Erebus and HMS Terror and unlock the rich history of Canada’s Northwest Passage – a history that unites us all as Canadians,” said the Prime Minister. “The use of cutting-edge technology by the team to map the Arctic waters and locate the Franklin vessels is also a tribute to Canadian expertise.”

Map of the probable routes taken by Erebus and Terror during Franklin’s lost expedition. Wiki Commons

Led by Parks Canada, the 2012 Franklin Expedition will, with the help of a number of public and private sector partners, including Universities, continue to search for the two historic vessels in two primary areas of interest: the Victoria Strait/Alexandra Strait region, where one of the vessels is thought to have foundered, and the southern region near O’Reilly Island, west of the Adelaide peninsula and where Inuit oral tradition situates one of the wrecks.

The Expedition’s search efforts, which will take between 4-6 weeks, will also contribute to collecting scientific data to increase knowledge of the Arctic in a number of areas, including the collection of data for the production of navigational charts and topographical maps in the Arctic and supporting marine archaeology and ecosystem management.

During the visit, the Prime Minister also announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with the Government of Nunavut that establishes a framework for the ongoing cooperation and coordination of the research, search and preservation activities regarding the HMS Erebus and HMS Terror. The Government of Nunavut is the permitting authority for all archaeology research conducted in Nunavut and will lead the land-based archaeological search.

This document is also available in Inuktitut at http://pm.gc.ca/grfx/docs/20120823_NR.pdf

Contributing Source: PMOC

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