UVIC Assists in Search for Franklin's Ships

June 30, 2011 - via University of Victoria

The search for the lost ships of Sir John Franklin will be getting some help from University of Victoria researchers and technology.

The location of HMS Terror and HMS Erebus is one of Canada’s great mysteries. In 1845, 129 men set sail on these two ships, ready to explore the Northwest Passage and find a safe and reliable route from Europe to the Orient. The Franklin expedition was to last three years but after 18 months, the vessels disappeared. This summer, Parks Canada will be exploring the area off Nunavut’s King William Island, making its third attempt to locate the missing ships.

Researchers from UVic’s Ocean Technology Lab will be using their autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) to assist the Parks Canada team in its search. Using UVic’s specially designed Bluefin-12 AUV, the Parks Canada team will be able to dramatically increase the size of the search area. The three UVic researchers and their AUV anticipate joining the search in August 2011.

Western Economic Diversification Canada provided $800,000 to the purchase of UVic’s Bluefin-12 AUV in 2009.

In 2010, the Parks Canada research team made worldwide news when it located the HMS Investigator, one of the vessels that had been searching for the missing Franklin expedition when she sank 155 years ago.

It is Parks Canada’s 100th anniversary.      

For more information visit http://web.uvic.ca/~lacir/ocean/mano.php and www.pc.gc.ca/eng/culture/expeditions/index.aspx

External link: http://communications.uvic.ca/releases/tip.php?date=30062011

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Author:Alison Proctor