WATCH: The Royal Canadian Geographical Society president John Geiger tells Global News how the HMS Erebus was positively identified
OTTAWA – Prime Minister Stephen Harper says the shipwreck found in the Arctic last month is HMS Erebus, the vessel on which Sir John Franklin himself sailed in search of the Northwest Passage in 1845.
The discovery of the wreck, found some 11 metres below the surface in the Queen Maud Gulf, was confirmed Sept. 7, but was not identified until now.
The two ships of the Franklin Expedition and their crews, 129 members in all, disappeared during an 1845 quest for the Northwest Passage.
Since 2008, Parks Canada has led six major searches for the lost ships, which were the subject of many searches throughout the 19th century.
The mystery of exactly what happened to Franklin and his men has never been solved.
Four vessels – the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Kingston and vessels from the Arctic Research Foundation and the One Ocean Expedition – led the search this summer.
WATCH: Prime Minister Stephen Harper announces that the ship from Franklin’s lost expedition has been identified