Exploration ship Endurance. This general plan of the ship from our archives was published as a supplement to Shipbuilding and Shipping Record magazine in July 1914.
The first images of the “Endurance” since her sinking in 1915 reached the media in 2022. Her wreck lies at a depth of 3008 m below the surface of the Weddell Sea, off Antarctica. The photographs of this legendary ship crown the Endurance22 expedition with success. Led by Dr John Shears, the expedition was organized by Falklands Maritime Heritage on board the South African icebreaker Agulhas II. The excellent state of preservation of the wreck is particularly impressive. Its robust construction is still almost completely intact, as the freezing temperatures, the low oxygen content of the water and the darkness provide it with perfect conservation conditions. The wreck is considered a monument under the 1959 International Antarctic Treaty, so no artefacts may be brought to the surface. The only alarming aspect of this amazing discovery is the fact that it was only made possible because the pack ice in the area is thinner than at any time since records began in the 1970s as a result of man-made climate change. The same pack ice caused the ship to sink 107 years ago. The recording of the wreck coincided with the 100th anniversary of the death of Ernest Shackleton, the explorer who led the “Endurance’s” first and last mission.
The ship’s short but eventful life began in Norway in 1912. She was launched at the Framnæs shipyard in Sandefjord at the end of the same year. Originally named „Polaris“, like the Polar Star, she was a steam-powered three-masted barquentine. Her robust construction represented a high point of Norwegian wooden shipbuilding. She was even designed as an icebreaker, as she was supposed to take wealthy passengers to the Arctic for polar bear hunting. But her owners ran into financial difficulties and could not pay the shipyard. As a result, they sold it at a loss to Shackleton, who had already become famous for two successful Antarctic expeditions. Renamed into “Endurance”, the ship was to serve the British Empire’s Trans-Antarctic Expedition, beginning one of the most amazing seafaring stories of all time.
This general plan of the ship from our archives was published as a supplement to Shipbuilding and Shipping Record magazine in July 1914.