Shackleton’s Endurance ship gets extra protection

From BBC

52 minutes ago

By Jonathan Amos@BBCAmosScience correspondent

FMHT/National Geographic

A protection perimeter drawn around Endurance, one of the world’s greatest shipwrecks, is being widened from a radius of 500m to 1,500m.

The extended zone will further limit activities close to the vessel, which sank in 1915 during an ill-fated Antarctic expedition led by celebrated polar explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton.

The measure is part of a newly published conservation management plan (CMP).

Already, no-one should retrieve or even touch objects in the protected zone.

Everything must be left in situ.

The perimeter update is a recognition that debris from Endurance – including crew belongings – may be strewn across a larger area of ocean floor than previously thought. The ship lies 3,000m down in the Weddell Sea.

(Oil painting by George Cummings)

“Endurance is very well protected where it is now, given its remoteness, depth and a near-permanent cover of sea-ice,” explained Camilla Nichol, the chief executive of the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, which drew up the CMP in partnership with Historic England.

“There are however considerable potential risks and it requires an international effort to make sure this wreck is not interfered with so that it can be sustained long into the future,” she told BBC News.

Endurance is one of the standout symbols of the so-called Heroic Age of Antarctic exploration.

Its story has captivated the world for decades.

The ship was lost to the deep when it became trapped and holed by thick Antarctic sea-ice. How Shackleton then managed to get all his men to safety is the stuff of legend.

The discovery of

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