The team behind the discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s legendary lost ship Endurance were delighted to see pictures of the vessel they hadn’t seen before when they visited the headquarters of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society in Perth.
Expedition leader John Shears, a polar geographer and environmental scientist with over 25 years’ experience of working in both the Arctic and Antarctica, said: “We had a wonderful time at the RSGS office where they had pictures of the Endurance even we hadn’t seen before that will further help interpret images we have seen from the sea floor.”
Sold-out Perth event
The Endurance22 team spoke at a sold-out event at Perth Concert Hall on Tuesday.
Over 1000 people from all over Scotland sat enthralled as the team recounted their miraculous journey to locate and survey the ship 3,008 metres beneath the ice, which had not been seen since it sank in the Weddell Sea over 100 years ago.
Royal Scottish Geographical Society Chief Executive Mike Robinson said it was an “absolute privilege” to host the Endurance22 team at the concert hall and to see some exclusive images of the wreck of the boat that was crushed in ice and sank over a century ago.
“The discovery of the wreck made headlines across the world last year, and this was a wonderful opportunity to hear from the team who found her,” said Mr Robinson.
“It was a total sell-out, with more than 1,000 people turning up to hear the story of the expedition, proving that Shackleton is such an enduring and inspirational story.
“We believe passionately that inspiration can last a lifetime, but in Ernest Shackleton’s case it has lasted several life times.
“His connections to Scotland, to RSGS where he was staff and a council member, and to Dundee, are fundamental to his success as an explorer.”
Mr Robinson described the images of the boat as “remarkable”.
“It took 45 minutes for the boat to sink, but the wreck is so pristine, it is as if the Endurance sank in 1915, and landed on the seabed in 2022,” he added.
“It was lovely to be able to share this with such an interested audience, and we greatly look forward to the documentary coming out next year.”
Documentary filmmaker Natalie Hewit reflected on filming the expedition and sharing their progress with the world through media.
She said: “This is the hardest and most challenging project I have ever taken on.
“When Shackleton included photographer Frank Hurley on the original Endurance expedition, it showed his understanding of the power of media to tell stories of exploration, allowing the public to engage with places of the world most people will never visit.
“So it was really special to us that the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust had the same vision to share stories from the Endurance 22 expedition.”
Challenges and logistics
Subsea Manager Nico Vincent who has surveyed wrecks across the world spoke of the challenges and logistics of filming and photographing the legendary ship.
“Endurance 22 has been the climax of my career as it has been the most complex to carry out, and being part of the story of the lost Endurance has been a great honour,” he said.
Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust Chair, Donald Lamont said: “People ask if we were lucky to find the wreck.”
“Luck was on our side in terms of ice conditions but we very much made our own luck and many would praise the immaculate planning and attention to detail in advance of this expedition.”
Tickets for future event
*Tickets for An Evening with Rory Stewart can be purchased at rsgs.org/events.
Tickets are £16 for general admission, £12 for RSGS Members & £8 for students and U18s.
That talk will be taking place at North Inch Community Campus in Perth on August 3 at 7:30pm.