History | Geography | Design & Technology

Shackleton’s lost ship found frozen in time

Is he a perfect hero? Romantic, sentimental, physically frail and a failure at all his main objectives, Ernest Shackleton is revered by many as the greatest explorer of all time.  Dr John Shears was full of excitement. For two weeks, he and his team had been searching the Weddell SeaPart of the Southern Ocean, it is 1,200 miles across at its widest point.. Now their mini-submarine had found a shipwreck. And suddenly, its cameras picked out a name: Endurance. They could see the ship’s wheel and even boots and crockery. “At that moment,” said marine archaeologist Mensun Bound, “you really do feel the breath of the great manShackleton was knighted in 1909. He died in the Antarctic in 1921 of a heart attack; the wreck of the Endurance was discovered exactly 100 years after his funeral, which took place on 5 March 1922. upon the back of your neck.” The Endurance sank on 21 November 1915 after being crushed by sea ice. The 28 crew seemed doomed. But thanks to the heroism of Ernest Shackleton, they survived. Born in 1874, he was one of two menThe other was Edward Wilson, who later led an expedition which came to be known as “the worst journey in the world” in search of Antarctic penguins’ eggs. to accompany Captain Scott on his first attempt to reach the South Pole. Knowing the dangers, he wrote to his girlfriend, “I am carrying your little photo with me South and so your face will be with me to the last.” The three men got closer to the Pole than anyone had before. But after two months they had to turn back. By the time they reached base, Shackleton could hardly walk. In 1907, Shackleton led his own South Pole expedition, and got even closer, but again had to give up. Four years later Roald AmundsenA Norwegian explorer. He disappeared in 1928 while flying on a rescue mission in the Arctic. won the race, while Scott diedHe and four companions, including Edward Wilson, reached the South Pole a month after Amundsen, but perished on the way back to their base. in the attempt. In 1914 Shackleton tried to cross Antarctica from one side to the other. After the Endurance sank, he and his crew set off in search of land. They marched across the pack ice and then used lifeboats. After five months they reached the uninhabited Elephant Island. Leaving most of the crew there, Shackleton and four others went to look for help. In their boat James Caird they survived terrible weather to reach South Georgia, 800 miles away. They then had to make a gruelling journey on foot over a mountain range to find rescuers. On arrival, Shackleton began planning the rescue of his other men. After four attemptsThe first three failed because of thick new pack ice that had formed between South Georgia and Elephant Island., he succeeded. Is he a perfect hero? Wreck trek Yes: In the words of a modern explorer, Sir Ranulph Fiennes, “Shackleton inspires us to never say die.” He underwent unimaginable hardships and inspired enormous loyalty in his subordinate.

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