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Wreck found: Another chapter written in the life and times of polar explorer Shackleton

A team of divers in Atlantic Canada has found the Quest, the ship on which renowned polar explorer Ernest Shackleton died in 1922, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society says.

Undated file photo of Sir Ernest Shackleton. PA Wire

Undated file photo of Sir Ernest Shackleton. PA Wire

The schooner-rigged vessel Quest lay at a depth of 390m off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada’s easternmost province, it said.

The ship, which was damaged by ice and sank in 1962 when being used by seal hunters, was found intact on Sunday.

Shackleton, preparing for his fourth journey to the Antarctic, died of a heart attack aboard the Quest on January 5, 1922, near the remote island of South Georgia in the South Atlantic. He was 47.

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After his death, a Norwegian company bought the Quest and used it for expeditions. It was also put into service with the Royal Canadian Navy during World War II.

The society’s announcement marks the second time in two years that one of the Anglo-Irish explorer’s ships has been found. In March 2022, search teams discovered the remains of the Endurance, which was crushed by Antarctic ice and sank some 3000m in November 1915.

The 28-man Endurance crew all made it home alive in what is considered one of the great survival stories. They trekked across the sea ice before setting sail in three lifeboats and reaching the uninhabited Elephant Island.

Shackleton and handful of crew mates then rowed some 1290km to South Georgia and sought help from a whaling station. On his fourth rescue attempt, Shackleton returned to pick up the rest of the crew in August 1916.

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