The Discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Last Expedition Ship Quest

The Discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Last Expedition Ship Quest

The recent discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s last expedition ship, Quest, at the bottom of the Atlantic off Canada’s coast has created a stir in the exploration community. The ship, which served as Shackleton’s final vessel before his death, holds immense historical significance, as it witnessed the legendary explorer’s final moments during his expedition to Antarctica.

The search for Quest was led by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, with CEO John Geiger stating that the shipwreck was found in the Labrador Sea at a depth of 390 meters. The discovery was made using sonar technology, which revealed the wooden-hulled, schooner-rigged steamship lying upright on its keel at the seabed. Shipwreck hunter David Mearns confirmed the authenticity of the wreck by matching its dimensions and location with historical records of the Quest.

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s reputation as an intrepid explorer was solidified by his remarkable escape alongside 27 companions after his ship, Endurance, sank in icy seas off Antarctica in 1915. The crew first camped on the sea ice before taking to lifeboats and sailing to Elephant Island. Shackleton then led a daring voyage to South Georgia, a British colony, using only a sextant for navigation. The 17-day trek in a small open boat is considered one of the most incredible achievements in maritime history, with all 28 expedition members surviving.

Following Shackleton’s death aboard Quest in 1922, the ship continued to be utilized for various expeditions, Arctic rescues, and as a minesweeper by the Canadian Navy during World War II. Despite its storied past, Quest met its demise in 1962 when it was damaged by ice and sank off the coast of Newfoundland. Miraculously, all of its Norwegian crew members survived the sinking.

The discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Quest serves as a poignant reminder of the indomitable spirit of exploration and adventure that characterized the golden age of polar exploration. The ship’s final resting place at the bottom of the Atlantic stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Shackleton and his remarkable feats in the face of adversity.


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