Endurance

In 1915 the ship Endurance of the Earnest Shackleton expedition to Antarctica became trapped and sank in the pack ice of the Weddell Sea. Shackleton’s men abandoned ship and began a 350 mile trek across ice and open water pulling and rowing their lifeboats to Elephant Island. It took them over two months. When they arrived they stood on land for the first time since the beginning of the expedition, a total of 497 days. Now marooned, Shackleton and five members of his crew eventually set out in a 22-foot lifeboat by dead reckoning 800 miles to a whaling station on South Georgia Island. Fifteen days afloat, they survived a hurricane that sank a 500 ton steamer in the same waters. Shackleton and two others then hiked across a previously uncharted glacier, a distance of 32 miles in 36 hours without mountaineering equipment to find help. Eventually Shackleton returned with the assistance of the Chilean Navy to rescue the 22 men on Elephant Island of whom not one perished. They had been stranded under extreme conditions almost two years. The British Navy could spare no ship to rescue them. Europe was at war.

On March 5, 2022 the wreck of the Endurance was discovered resting upright beneath 10,000 feet of water where she came to rest 107 years ago. The wreckage is perfectly preserved, exactly as it existed when she sank to the bottom. Europe is at war.

The Endurance was found one hundred years to the day after Ernest Shackleton’s funeral on South George Island during a subsequent Antarctic expedition.