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  • Writer's pictureENDURE

ENDURE team visits Parks Canada



Endure team members David Gregory and Anne Marie Høier Eriksen visited the Maritime Archaeological unit at Parks Canada last week to discuss including their work on the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror in the ENDURE project. The well-preserved wrecks lie upright on the seabed, in a similar manner to those investigated in the Baltic Sea in October 2022. Although well preserved the Parks Canada team have observed that the wrecks are under threat of decay from the harsh arctic environment – especially physical decay induced by waves over the site.


Parks Canada has some fantastic historical shipwrecks within their jurisdiction. The above mentioned two shipwrecks HMS Erebus and HMS Terror from Sir Franklins 1845 expedition to find the North-West passage are a good examples of this. The wrecks were found close to each other in Arctic Canada in 2014 and 2016 respectively (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxyTZ3F7mkA), but a wreck like the 16th-century Basque galleon located near the UNESCO World Heritage Site Red Bay in North-East Canada is another good example.


All three wrecks are extremely interesting in terms of degradation in these extreme environments and the wreck at Red Bay offers us the opportunity to study long term in situ preservation as the wreck has been re-buried since it was excavated back in 1978-85. The photogrammetric models and multibeam echo sonar scanning of the wrecks will together with environmental analysis of the wreck sites and assessment of the structural integrity of the wrecks be used to examine the role of ship design, form and function in relation to the decay of shipwrecks (WPs 1 and 2).


On the photo above David and Anne Marie are examining wood samples from Erebus together with Parks Canada’s Charles Dagneau.

On the photo to the left Parks Canada's artist is showing Anne Marie her nicely detailed drawings of the HMS Erebus shipwreck.

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