Military divers to explore Franklin-era wreck

Defence Minister Peter McKay and Chief of Defence Staff Gen. Walter Natynczyk lead a parade of Canadian Rangers and regular-force soldiers up the runway of this remote military post on the northern tip of Ellesmere Island at the close of Operation Nunalivut in 2010. 
Photo Bob Weber

From CBC News


Divers with the Canadian military will make their way under the sea ice to explore a Franklin-era shipwreck.

The exercise is part of the annual Operation Nunalivut, which takes place in the High Arctic near Resolute. Divers from three provinces will head down with remote-operated vehicles to look at the HMS Breadalbane.

In 1853, the ship sank off Beechey Island in Lancaster Sound. It had been part of the search for John Franklin’s lost ships, the Erebus and Terror, and their crews.

The Breadalbane’s crew had to abandon ship when it became trapped in an ice floe, and the crew was later rescued by another ship.

"We don't think anybody's conducted any drive operations on it in about 10 years, and the last time that they did it looked to be in really good shape," said Lt. Col. Glen MacNeil, who is leading the operation.

"You could clearly see the outline of the ship and the masts were still there on it with sails so it'll be interesting to see what type of images we get." The Breadalbane is now a national historic site of Canada.

Operation Nunalivut ends May 1.



shipwreck expedition Canada Arctic Ocean

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