History

Weather continues to play havoc with dive attempts on Franklin wreck

Parks Canada divers remain on standby
  • Sep 15, 2014
  • 207 words
  • 1 minutes
Parks Canada's Ryan Harris holds a mask, one of the pieces of equipment divers will use once winds subside and they are able to dive at the Franklin shipwreck site. Expand Image
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Parks Canada divers hoping to descend to the wreck of one of Sir John Franklin’s ships continue to be hampered in their efforts by the weather. A cold wind continues to sweep out of the north, and as of 8 a.m. today, a light snow was blowing across the surface of a misty Queen Maud Gulf.

Since Parks Canada’s underwater archeology team returned to the wreck site from Ottawa after last Tuesday’s announcement of the find, gale force winds have stymied operations. The Canadian Coast Guard icebreaker Sir Wilfrid Laurier — normally so stable that it’s easy to forget you’re on a ship at all — rolled around so much in the swell that several people onboard were seasick.

Divers do, however, remain on standby on that ship, and remain optimistic that they will perform their maiden dive on the wreck at noon today.

Aboard the Arctic Research Foundation’s Martin Bergmann, one of the vessels that assisted in this year’s Franklin search, co-captain Dave McIssac says that swells will stay high until the wind direction changes. “Tomorrow, it will die to a light wind, but there will still be some swell. On Thursday, we’ll see a change in direction, which should reduce the current swell.”

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