People & Culture

Coast Guard awarded Erebus medals for role in Franklin find

The Canadian Coast Guard has been officially recognized for the role they played in the discovery of the HMS Erebus.
  • Mar 31, 2015
  • 359 words
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The Canadian Coast Guard has been officially recognized for the role they played in the discovery of the HMS Erebus, a ship whose disappearance had been puzzling people for nearly 170 years.

Sen. Nancy Greene Raine was joined by Joseph Frey, governor of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society in Sidney, BC to celebrate and award Erebus Medals to the Coast Guard employees of icebreaker CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier.

“We recognize the find as a great moment not only in underwater archeology, or in Arctic science, or even in exploration history, but a great moment for Canada,” says John Geiger, CEO of The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS). “The Erebus Medal salutes the Coast Guard’s key role, as well as that played by our other partners in the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition.”

Established by The RCGS in 2015, the Erebus Medal recognizes expedition participants’ contributions to the discovery of HMS Erebus, the exploration ship commanded by Sir John Franklin and lost during his ill-fated 1845-48 expedition.

After entering Baffin Bay in August of 1845, the HMS Erebus and its sister ship HMS Terror mysteriously disappeared along with the expedition’s captain, the well-known explorer Sir John Franklin. Despite extensive searches driven by Lady Jane Franklin to locate the whereabouts of her husband, along with the 128 men aboard the ship, the ships were never found. Until September 2014, that is, when the 169-year-old game of hide-and-seek was finally won; Erebus found intact and upright, in 11 metres of water.

The 2015 search will focus on finding the other major puzzle piece: the HMS Terror. Senator Nancy Greene Raine adds, “Like many Canadians, I’m eager to watch this mystery continue to unfold throughout this upcoming season.”

Erebus medal recipients from CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier include: Shelby Skjelstad, Laura Schreiber, David Spinks, Sophie Slakov-Crombie, Barry Rinas, Richard Marriott, Joanne McNish, Captain William Noon, Roger Girouard, Reinhard Richter, Jaimie Hildebrand, Jaan Koosel, Alison Campbell, Nicholas Frith, John Rose, Daniel Loranger, Scott Tom, Keith Graham, Cory Glencross, Rhett Miller, Gabriel Giguere, William Healey, Bertrand Boisseau, Stuart Bursaw, Tarpan Roy and David Steel.

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