Shipwrecked in the icy Canadian arctic

17 August 2010
Posted by Chris Smith.

The wreck of a 19th Century British ship has been found in the frigid waters of northern Canada.

The ship, HMS Investigator, was sent on a mission in the 1850s to uncover what had happened to Captain Sir John Franklin, an arctic explorer that had never been heard from after he set sail for the arctic. His crew had been searching for the 'north-west passage' that links the northern Atlantic and Pacific oceans.

In 1854 Franklin's ships were discovered trapped in ice. The crew had abandoned ship and gone on foot, dying of hypothermia, starvation, disease and even cannabalism.

One of the ships sent after Franklin was HMS Investigator, which itself became trapped in ice, abandoned by its crew and lost. The ship has now been found, sunk under 11m of freezing water, sitting on the ocean floor. Moreover, owing to the freezing but stable conditions, the ship is in exceptionally good condition.

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