Nations look for ways to save shackleton ships from being damaged in Endurance Wreck

Thursday, June 23, 2022
author picture Gerald Girard
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The Weddell Sea Endurance

Endurance was a three-masted barquentine used by Sir Ernest Shackleton on his Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition in 1914-1917. Originally Polaris‚ it was built at the Framnaes shipyard in Norway and launched in Sandefjord in 1912. Shackleton bought the ship in January 1914. In November 1915‚ the ship was trapped in pack ice and sank in the Weddell Sea off Antarctica.

To protect Endurance (the ship that Ernest Shackleton lost in Antarctica)‚ a 500m radius is being put in place. In March of this year‚ 107 years after it was lost to the seafloor at Weddell Sea‚ its position was finally determined. The wreck has been declared a Historic Site and Monument by the Antarctic Treaty member states. It lies within 3‚000m of seawater. They have now asked for a management program to ensure its continued conservation. The UK Antarctic Heritage Trust will create this document. This will establish the types of restrictions and responsibilities to be placed on Endurance-related activities in the future. You will need a permit to enter the ship even now. To locate the wreck‚ remote-operated submersibles were utilized Notable is the fact that all the Treaty Parties have accepted to publish exact coordinates for the wreck. 68°4421 South‚ 52°1947 West. Given the history of some archaeological sites in marine waters‚ a little more clarity might have been considered better. However‚ its inaccessibility due to the presence of perennial sea-ice makes it a deterrent. Amanda Milling is the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Development Office (FCDO) minister responsible for the polar regions. She told BBC News that its current best protection was its location at 3‚000m under an ice-covered Weddell sea. This may change with climate change and shrinking ocean ice. We have therefore commissioned this report. UK Antarctic Heritage Trust To work closely with experts in order to create a conservation management program and consider whether further protection is required. It has been declared a historical site by us and Antarctic Treaty member countries have accepted to raise the protective zone from 150m up to 500m. The ship and artifacts are part of the Shackleton heritage. They must be protected so that they inspire future generations. Viewed from Space: Agulhas II Icebreaker. The Weddell Sea is regularly covered with frozen floes For decades‚ the Endurance tale has been a wildly popular one. The book tells the story of how Shackleton and his men led their way to safety when the expedition ship they were on was trapped in the Weddell Sea in 1915. It was nothing less than a miracle that the vessels were discovered on March 5‚ this year. The idea was viewed as possibly the single hardest wreck to locate anywhere on the globe. The Endurance22 project‚ led by the falklands maritime heritage trust the feat was achieved using submersibles that were launched from an icebreaker‚ South African Agulhas II. The sunken vessels timbers were pristine It looked like the condition of the hull in photographs taken less than 100 years ago‚ just days before it was sunk into the depths. To include any items that might have been separated from Endurance during its descent to the seabed‚ the new perimeter of 500m has been created. It would also include any crew belongings and parts of Endurance's ship‚ which appears to be intact from submersible scans. Future management plans may include extending the perimeter of the water column upwards by many hundred metres and possibly all the way up to the surface. This would allow for strict permit-driven control of activities within this space. These activities will be rare today‚ given the harsh ice conditions in the Weddell sea.

weddell sea ernest shackleton uk antarctic heritage trust endurance treaty ukaht historic site the nations look for ways to save shackleton ships from being damaged in wreck

How long will this last? This correspondent was contacted by a company offering a unique chance to see the wreckage from their paid passengers within weeks. This prospect may seem disconnected from the reality of today‚ but it might not be always. Filter feeders Tourism is increasing around Antarctic Peninsula. People are seeking new experiences and opportunities. Trips into the Weddell Sea will be a possibility. However‚ it will be some time before the ice conditions allow super yachts to reach that depth in the Weddell sea‚ stated Camilla Nichol (CEO of UKAHT). The greatest threat to the future may come from fishing in longlines or any other type of activity. It could inflict damage on the wreck if it is not managed. Endurance22 was designated as an Antarctic Historic Site and Monument. This meant that Endurance22 could not remove artifacts. Without that promise‚ the FCDO wouldn't have granted permission to search for Endurance22. Other people will want to return for a second visit. The ship could be a great study for deep-sea biologists. All manner of organisms are now using Endurance as a food source. This is the right time to think about how you might access this type of access. Professor Mike Meredith from the British Antarctic Survey stated at a meeting of the All-Party Parliamentary Group to the Polar Regions that a large retreat in sea-ice was recently identified due to many factors. The lowest ever recorded minimum in 2022 in the Weddell Strait. It is clear that climate change will affect sea-ice coverage‚ making the Endurance wreck easier to access in the future. UKAHT hopes to prepare a management plan for Antarctic Treaty member countries at the next meeting. Map