International cooperation
UK to give Canada rights to wreckage of Franklin expedition’s ships
© RIA Novosti. Sergey Averyanov

UK to give Canada rights to wreckage of Franklin expedition’s ships

British authorities have decided to give Canada ownership of the wreckage of two British ships from the expedition of Sir John Franklin that were lost in the Arctic 170 years ago, TASS reports quoting Canadian Press.

The British Ministry of Defense plans to prepare all necessary documents in the next few weeks. It made this decision to ensure that the fragments and artifacts are preserved for future generations.  TASS noted that the British Ministry of Defense will take from Canada a number of small artifacts from HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, the wreckage of which was discovered in 2014 and 2016, correspondingly.

The Arctic expedition headed by Sir John Franklin began in 1845. In September 1846 they became stuck in ice near the island of King William and never made it back to open sea. It is also known that the members of the expedition spent winters on this island until 1848.

The first attempts to search for the expedition were made in 1848. Over the next 170 years only a few burial sites and some personal belongings of the team were found. In late August of 2014 the Canadian Government gathered a new search team with the participation of Canadian warships and research vessels, including the Russian icebreaker Academician Sergei Vavilov.

In the beginning of September of the same year researchers found parts of an iron structure that belonged to HMS Erebus in the Arctic Ocean's Queen Maud Gulf. Franklin himself was aboard this ship when he sailed to the Arctic. In the summer of 2016 the Canadian authorities announced that the search for the second ship will continue. The remnants of HMS Terror were found in September 2016 in Nunavut in Terror Gulf, not far from Beechey Island in Canada's Arctic region.