World Bulletin / News Desk
One of two British ships, which disappeared in the Arctic 168 years ago, has been found in the Victoria Straits in northern Canada, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper said in a statement on Tuesday.
It is unclear which ship – the HMS Erebus or HMS Terror – has been found, Harper said.
Sir John Franklin, a British Royal Navy officer and Arctic explorer, led 129 men and the two ships that departed England from 1845 to search for the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean but disappeared a year later in 1846.
The Northwest Passage is a sea route through the Arctic Ocean, sought by explorers for centuries as a possible trade route. Franklin died in 1847 and a year later, the expedition abandoned the ships and tried to escape south across the tundra by sledge. No evidence has been found of any survivors.
Legend has it that the sailors resorted to cannibalism after the ship became ice-bound in the Arctic territory of Nunavut.
"I am delighted to announce that this year’s Victoria Strait Expedition has solved one of Canada’s greatest mysteries, with the discovery of one of the two ships belonging to the Franklin Expedition lost in 1846,’’ Harper said in the statement.
There have been six major searches by Parks Canada –a government agency – for the lost Franklin Expedition ships since 2008, Harper said.
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