A team from Seneca’s Underwater Skills program has spent the last few months training and preparing Parks Canada marine archeologists to work in the icy waters of the Arctic in order to explore the HMS Erebus.
The Erebus, one of two ships on an ill-fated 1845 expedition, is a part of Canadian folklore — its captain, Sir John Franklin, was attempting for the third time to chart the Northwest Passage when the ship and its crew became stuck in the ice near King William Island. Franklin and his men perished.
The mystery and legend of the expedition has grown over the years in light of several unsuccessful attempts to find its ships. Parks Canada discovered the wreck last September with the help of Inuit history, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy and resources from other government and private agencies.
The eleven-day mission in April, only recently announced by former Prime Minister Stephen Harper, will include daily dives beneath the Arctic ice to more fully determine the state of the sunken ship and to continue photo and video documentation, allowing Canadians and people worldwide to be a part of this historic research.