Aulavik National Park

First glimpse of 19th-century ship trapped in Arctic

Image of the HMS Investigator, which was abandoned in the Arctic in 1853

From CTV News

The government has released ghostly images of a British navy vessel trapped under the Arctic ice for more than 150 years.

HMS Investigator was abandoned in 1853 -- but not before sailing the last leg of the elusive Northwest Passage.

Archaeologists working with Parks Canada first discovered the ship on July 25, after ice had cleared from Mercy Bay, a remote site in Aulavik National Park on Banks Island. 

"The first tantalizing glimpses eventually gave way to a complete picture of the ship wreck for its entire length: 120 feet overall," lead archaeologist Ryan Harris of Parks Canada told CTV News. 

"As the ice cleared away, we were able to see HMS Investigator in its glory."

HMS Investigator, under the command of Capt. Robert John Le Mesurier McClure, had been dispatched from Britain in January 1850 on a mission to rescue an earlier expedition to the Arctic led by Sir John Franklin, which had gone missing a few years earlier.