History

“We have a chance to look history in the eye”

Parks Canada divers to examine Franklin wreck before winter sets in
  • Sep 10, 2014
  • 277 words
  • 2 minutes
Photos of the shipwreck discovered in Queen Maud Gulf Expand Image

A team of Parks Canada archeologists is returning to the Arctic today and plans to send divers to the wreck of one of Sir John Franklin¹s ships, the discovery of which was confirmed on Sunday during the 2014 Victoria Strait search activity in the Queen Maud Gulf.

With winter approaching, divers have a short window this year to examine the still unidentified vessel, which could be either HMS Erebus or HMS Terror, both of which were lost during Franklin’s ill-fated 1845 expedition. “We will try to gather as much information as possible to answer some basic questions,” says Marc-André Bernier, a Parks Canada archeologist who will be at the wreck site. “We’re going to be looking if we can identify which one of the ships it is, but we want to get an overall assessment of the site, as much information as we can, to plan the next steps.”

The divers will take photos and video of their findings and are hoping to see inside the ship; if they do, it will be the first time anyone has done so in nearly 170 years. Bernier says this is where the real archeological work begins. “We have a chance to look history in the eye.”

Bernier says there is a possibility that human remains will be found, but adds that it was too early to say whether the wreck would be raised. “That is an extremely complex and expensive operation,” he says. “Part of the value of the site rests in where the shipwreck is and we want to conserve that, but it’s going to be a step-by-step process.

Related Content

Canadian Hydrographic Survey launch, CSL Gannett

History

2014 Victoria Strait Expedition

This year's search is about much more than underwater archaeology. The Victoria Strait Expedition will contribute to northern science and communities.

  • 1205 words
  • 5 minutes

People & Culture

RCGS hosts evening of fascinating Franklin discussion

On April 12, Franklin enthusiasts had a rare opportunity to come together in the same room as The Royal Canadian Geographical Society presented their 2016 Can Geo Talks

  • 833 words
  • 4 minutes
The Royal Canadian Geographical Society’s 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition flag flies above the One Ocean Voyager

History

Victoria Strait Expedition begins

First official day of the 2014 search for Sir John Franklin’s lost ships

  • 1092 words
  • 5 minutes
Team photo from the 2012 search for the lost Franklin ships.

History

Royal Canadian Geographical Society CEO John Geiger gives a sneak peek of this year’s Franklin search

Why this summer’s search for the lost ships of the Franklin Expedition will be the biggest and most advanced ever

  • 1638 words
  • 7 minutes