Lower Saxony and Bremen
“Endurance”: Looking for a needle in a haystack
Bremerhaven (dpa / lni) – In the search for the expedition ship “Endurance”, which sank in the Antarctic Weddell Sea in 1915, sea ice was not the biggest challenge, contrary to initial thought. In the area where the last “Endurance” was underway, there is normally a very compact concentration of sea ice. “But the conditions were very beneficial for us this year,” said German marine physicist Stefanie Arndt of the Alfred Wegener Institute, who was part of the “Endurance22” expedition, the “Weser-Kurier” (Friday).
The biggest challenge was finding the ship itself. “Since we didn’t have the coordinates for a few days before the ship sank, it was like looking for a needle in a haystack.”
Researchers from the expedition led by the British Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust sighted the remains of wood more than 100 years after the ship sank to a depth of about three kilometres. “The wreck is in very good condition. When I look at the footage, I get goosebumps,” Arndt said. “It’s amazing how much you can still see, even though the ship has been at the bottom of the ocean for over 100 years.”
The “Endurance” was the expedition ship of former British polar explorer Ernest Shackleton (1874-1922). She was wrecked and sunk during World War I in 1915 after a huge pack ice thwarted her mission. After being trapped in the ice for about ten months, Shackleton and his crew abandoned ship with the help of lifeboats, among other things.