The HMS Investigator – A Ship Frozen in Time

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Sitting in simply 11 metres (30 ft) of water, excessive above the Arctic Circle in Mercy Bay, lies the HMS Investigator. Mercy Bay, 800 km north of Inuvik in Canada’s North West Territories, is a punishing surroundings. 160 years in the past, the Investigator, a British vessel, turned trapped within the ice after being despatched to seek for the explorer Sir John Franklin who had gone lacking on the lookout for the North West Passage.

They by no means did discover Franklin, however they did discover the North West Passage. Their discovery got here at an enormous value – they turned caught within the ice. The ship’s future was sealed from that second on. She by no means would escape the ice and her crew have been stranded for two years earlier than being rescued by one other British ship, the HMS Resolute. Throughout these 2 years, the crew of 69 endured unimaginable hardships, however, amazingly, solely three have been to die and their easy graves can nonetheless be seen on the tundra.

As soon as the crew had been rescued, Investigator was deserted and left to sink to the underside of the Beaufort Sea the place she has been ever since, her secrets and techniques being frozen in time.

Till 2010, that's, when a staff of Canadian archaeologists from Parks Canada, traveled to Mercy Bay to seek out Investigator and unlock her secrets and techniques. What did they discover? They discovered an imposing ship wreck, untouched over time. They discovered artifacts which they principally left, aside from a couple of choose gadgets which have been introduced as much as be analyzed and preserved, together with a tremendous musket.

HMS Investigator - First Image
Picture of the HMS Investigator, which was deserted within the Arctic in 1853.

“It was a very surreal expertise to return throughout a wreck website of this distinctive nature, on this extremely distant location. It’s one thing I’ll always remember.”

Ryan Harris, Senior Archaeologist

Locate a local PADI dive shop and begin your subsequent underwater journey!


This weblog was initially written by Jackie Hutchings and revealed on the Diviac Journal.

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