Prime Minister Stephen Harper has announced that the Franklin Expedition ship discovered in early September by the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition is Her Majesty’s Ship (HMS) Erebus. Sir John Franklin, who was in command of the Franklin Expedition, sailed on HMS Erebus.
The confirmation was made by Parks Canada underwater archeologists, following a meticulous review of data and artifacts observed from the Arctic Ocean’s seabed and using high-resolution photography, high-definition video and multi-beam sonar measurements.
“I am pleased to announce that the Franklin Expedition ship located by the Victoria Strait Expedition in September has been identified as HMS Erebus. The locating and identifying of this ship goes a long way to solving one of Canada’s greatest historical mysteries,” Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
This announcement comes just three weeks after remains of the ship were found in the eastern stretches of the Queen Maud Gulf off the western coast of the Adelaide Peninsula.
On May 19, 1845, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror of the Royal Navy departed Greenhithe, England, on a much-heralded Arctic expedition in search of a Northwest Passage. Under the command of Sir John Franklin, with Captain Francis Rawdon Crozier second in command, the expedition’s two ships set out with a total complement of 129 officers and men. The two expedition ships were last seen entering Baffin Bay in August 1845.
Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, said: “I would like to congratulate and pay tribute to all those involved in locating and identifying HMS Erebus. I had the privilege of witnessing the remarkable dedication and skills of the search team first-hand during this year’s Northern Tour and it has left a lasting impression. I wish them well in their search for HMS Terror.”