Manitoba

Manitoba history prof cheers Franklin expedition find

A University of Manitoba history professor says the discovery of one of the Franklin expedition ships will change the way he teaches his course in the future.
A sea floor scan reveals one of the missing ships from the Franklin Expedition in an image released in Ottawa on Tuesday September 9, 2014. (Parks Canada/Canadian Press)

A University of Manitoba history professor says the discovery of one of the Franklin expedition ships will change the way he teaches his course in the future.

The two ships of the Franklin Expedition disappeared during an 1845 search for the Northwest Passage. (Archives)
Len Kuffert said his students have been studying the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the 19th century ships for many years.

"I'm thrilled about the discovery because I have a unit every year with my students, at least a lecture, and some of the other students often work on the Franklin expedition in their research papers," he said.

"Now we've got more material to look at to show students, 'well here's where the actual ship was found', and maybe we can even chart at some point, where, you know, how this ship may have drifted off course."

The wreckage was found by Parks Canada earlier this week in Nunuvut after archaeologists used a remotely-operated underwater vehicle.

Franklin's lost expedition was a British voyage of Arctic exploration led by Capt. Sir John Franklin that departed England in 1845. The two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, became icebound in Victoria Strait and the entire expedition, including Franklin and 128 men, was lost.

Since 2008, there have been six major Parks Canada-led searches for the lost Franklin expedition ships, covering many hundreds of square kilometres of the Arctic seabed.

It has not yet been determined which of the two ships has been found.

Kuffert said he is also curious as to what Canada will do with the wreckage now, whether it will be put on display somewhere.

"The people of Nunavut are probably gonna feel very kinda good about this."