Feds deny export permit for Arctic shipwreck

The federal government has denied an export permit for the Baymaud shipwreck resting in waters off Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

Norwegian group wants to reclaim Amundsen's Maud for museum

This ship, originally owned by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, was sold to the Hudson Bay Company and used as a floating warehouse and wireless station in Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, until it developed a leak and began sinking in 1930. (CBC file)

The federal government has denied an export permit for the Baymaud shipwreck resting in waters off Cambridge Bay, Nunavut.

A group of investors wants to move the 100-year old wreck to Norway to be the centerpiece of a museum.

The ship, originally named the Maud, was built to the specifications of Arctic explorer Roald Amundsen. Amundsen, a national hero in Norway, led the first successful sailing expedition through the Northwest Passage in the early 1900s.

He sailed the Maud to the Arctic in the hopes of reaching the North Pole, but after several unsuccessful attempts, Amundsen was not able to pay his debts and the Maud was eventually seized by creditors.

The ship was sold to the Hudson Bay Company in 1926 and renamed the Baymaud. It was used as a floating warehouse and wireless station in Cambridge Bay until it developed a leak and began sinking in 1930.

It is owned by people in the Norwegian community of Asker, who purchased the wreck from the Hudson Bay Company for $1 in 1990.

The Norwegian group’s application for an export permit was refused earlier this week.  

"We were a bit surprised," said Jan Wanggaard, a spokesperson for the group Maud Returns Home.

"It was a bit sudden because now there will be a delay in the whole process."

Wanggaard said they are asking for a review of the decision to deny the export permit. That will likely take place in March.

Wanggaard said the Canadian government wants to know more about how the extraction of the boat will take place, and also wants more archeological studies to be done.

"We are willing to negotiate this because we want very much to bring this ship home."

But Cambridge Bay resident Syd Glawson said he thinks the ship should stay where it is.

"She's resting in peace, leave her alone."

"That thing cannot be raised in one piece. [It will] just totally destroy it by doing it and I'm very glad Ottawa said no."