Franklin ships remain unfound
- On 27/08/2011
- In Expeditions
From CBC News
Archeologists in the Arctic hoping to find Sir John Franklin's long-lost ships neared the end of their latest search Friday with no shipwreck in sight.
It appears HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, two of the most sought-after wrecks in Canada, will remain undiscovered for now.
Parks Canada archeologists spent the last six days combing an area west of King William Island, where explorers seeking the Northwest Passage stopped or, in the case of Franklin, got stranded in ice.
Erebus and Terror vanished in the High Arctic more than 160 years ago, along with the famous British explorer and 128 crew.
This was the third year of a three-year-program to find Erebus and Terror, but searches for the two ships and remnants of Franklin's failed 1845 expedition began almost immediately after he disappeared.
Marc-Andre Bernier, Parks Canada's chief of underwater archeology, says it is too soon to say whether the search program might be extended beyond this year.
Crews in two boats have been using sonar to map the ocean floor, he said. But a plan to use a new underwater robotic vehicle fell apart.
"We weren't able to deploy it," he said. "We're hoping if we continue next year, that's going to be available, but unfortunately for this year, we ran into some technical problems at the last minute, so that actually could not be used on this survey"