Endurance Shipwreck Endured the Antarctic After-all

The term “endurance” is defined as; the fact or power of enduring an unpleasant or difficult process or situation without giving way. Endurance is what 27 men showed back in 1915 and today their story has been rediscovered.

An Enduring Past

This past week, the lost ship, Endurance,  was found off the coast of Antarctica in the Weddell Sea. The ship belonged to British explorer Ernest Shackleton. 106 years after the ship lost its battle to the ice, explorers found the ship remarkably intact. The vessel was spotted at 9,842 ft. deep into the sea, and the name was still prominent across the stern. 

In June of 1914, around the time WWI began, Ernest Shackleton and 27 men started their journeys to Antarctica. The plan was to use two ships, The Aurora and The Endurance, and arrive at two different locations. Then, the boats would traverse Antarctica following two routes and sledge across the ice. 

In Jan. 1915 the Endurance became trapped in ice. The men aboard would live on the boat for months enduring the freezing temperatures. On Oct. 27, 1915, Shackleton ordered his men to abandon ship as the pressure from the ice started to crush the boat. All crew members gathered only up to two pounds of luggage each and began their tale of survival. 


Endurance sank Nov. 21, 1915, forever lost to the Weddell Sea. All hope to traverse Antarctica was lost as well. The expedition became a mission of survival for the crew. The mission lasted until Aug. 1916, when all men were rescued. The crew spent about 10 months surviving on the ice. Fortunately, everyone aboard The Endurance survived. However, the same could not be said about The Aurora. The Aurora ship had also become stuck in ice. The men aboard Aurora were rescued in 1917, three members, unfortunately, did not survive that expedition.

The expedition that took place this year to find Endurance set sail Feb. 5. Expedition leader John Shears and crew set sail from Cape Town, South Africa. Utilizing sonar and submersible crafts, the crew then found Endurance just four miles off from where Captain Frank Worsley had last noted the ship’s location to be. Captain Frank Worsley was also the one to navigate the rescue mission for the Endurance crew members. 


Members of the Endurance22 Expedition were astonished to see the ship in such excellent condition. As a testament to the craftsmanship of the past, some of the paint is even still intact. The ship’s beauty has been preserved for 106 years and will continue to be preserved by the icy cold, polar waters. After learning all that they can from the discovery, the Endurance ship will be left to endure. The ship will remain undisturbed as it is protected as a historical site and monument under the Antarctic Treaty.