Ottawa announces new phase for Franklin search in Nunavut

New Parks Canada search to start Aug. 21


Postmedia News

OTTAWA — Environment Minister Peter Kent announced June 30 the third phase of the search for Sir John Franklin’s lost ships from an 1845 expedition to discover the Northwest Passage.

In an announcement attended by British High Commissioner Dr. Andrew Pocock, and several Parks Canada officials, Kent said the resumption of the search will begin Aug. 21, weather permitting.

“We are continuing our search for an as yet undiscovered national historic site,” Kent said. “This is the year I hope we will solve one of the great mysteries in the history of Arctic exploration.”

The grave of the two ships is the only national historic site that has no known location.

Parks Canada began the three-year search for the two ships in 2008 in co-operation with the Canadian Coast Guard and the Government of Nunavut.

Terror and Erebus have been missing for more than 160 years.

The search will also include a dive to the HMS Investigator, a ship lost in the 1850s while searching for Franklin’s missing expedition.

It was discovered last summer in Aulavik National Park near the western end of the Northwest Passage on Banks Island, to the east of the Beaufort Sea. The Investigator was the first of many ships sent to find the lost Terror and Erebus.

Dives for the Investigator will take place July 10 to 25, assuming the co-operation of the weather.

The Investigator set sail in January 1850 to find the missing Erebus and Terror and became trapped in the unforgiving pack ice.

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