Monday September 12, 2016
Relative of HMS Terror captain reacts to ship's discovery, 168 years after failed Franklin Expedition
For nearly 170 years, it sat hidden in icy Nunavut waters. But researchers now say that they have discovered the wreck of the lost Franklin expedition ship, HMS Terror.
Researchers with Arctic Research Foundation say they found the wreck using a submersible vehicle. The Terror, and the other Franklin ship, the Erebus, were abandoned in sea ice in 1848, on Sir John Franklin's expedition to locate the Northwest Passage. All 129 men on the expedition died.
"We were delighted having waited so long!" Martin Crozier, a relative of a commander of HMS Terror, tells As It Happens guest host Helen Mann.
Crozier is a relative of Francis Crozier, the Royal Navy captain who commanded the HMS Terror. He is particularly excited to see reports that the shipwreck is well-preserved and that captain Crozier's cabin is largely intact.
"He was the brains behind it," Crozier insists. "That's why he was chosen to go up there because he had a vast amount of experience."
Theories vary about why the crew decided to abandon ship and about what brought the Terror down. Crozier hopes that finding the wreck in good condition will provide new evidence about what happened.
"There are so many different computations of it," Crozier explains. "It does make one wonder but it's certainly a great find."
Like the Erebus discovery in September 2014, the Inuit community played an important role in locating the shipwreck.
"Other people thought they knew best where the ships were," Crozier explains. "But let's face it, if you were living there, you would pass that information along."
Crozier says deciding what to do with the wreck will be difficult but ultimately he hopes it will end up in a more accessible location than the high Arctic.
"Why not send it back from whence it came?" Crozier quips."Send it up the Thames and we'd gladly have it. But no, I think somewhere in Canada where the climatic conditions are better, where people could actually see it!"