Archaeologists discover Sir John Franklin’s HMS Terror
Last updated: April 3, 2019 at 13:23 pm
[ 2016 ] On September 18, 2016, Parks Canada confirms that the wreck discovered by the Arctic Research Foundation is HMS Terror. The archaeological validation was based on a side-scan sonar survey and three dives on the wreck. The discovery of HMS Terror was made possible thanks to a long-term partnership with northern communities, the Kitikmeot Inuit Association, the Government of Nunavut, Parks Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Hydrographic Service, Environment and Climate Change Canada, and many other government, private and non-profit partners, including the Arctic Research Foundation. This multi-faceted partnership was also at the heart of the discovery of HMS Erebus in 2014. The extraordinary find also underscores the importance of Inuit knowledge. The dives took place during difficult weather conditions and through poor visibility. The wreck’s upper deck is heavily covered by silt and marine life. Nevertheless, the divers were able to observe a number of features that were typical or unique to 19th century British polar exploration ships and the wreck has a number of design specifications that were common to both HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, including three masts, iron bow sheathings and a double-wheeled helm. There are no wrecks other than HMS Erebus with these features in the region.
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Jeffrey Gallant is the Editor-in-Chief and Records Keeper of the Diving Almanac. He is also a contributing editor of DIVER Magazine, and the scientific director of the Greenland Shark and Elasmobranch Education and Research Group (GEERG). Jeffrey started diving in 1982.