Captain James Cook's ship HMS Endeavour, used to explore Australia and last seen during the 1770s, likely discovered off of Rhode Island.
Cook commanded the ship from 1768 to 1771 on his famous voyage mapping the uncharted waters of the south Pacific Ocean. The HMS Endeavour sailed around Cape Horn in Africa, and visited Tahiti, New Zealand and Australia. Cook explored Tonga, Easter Island, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia and Vanuatu on his second voyage. He was killed in 1779 during a trip to the Sandwich Islands, now known as Hawaii.
The Endeavour was sold and used to transport British troops before it met its watery grave — lost for more than two centuries. The ship — then renamed as the Lord Sandwich — was scuttled in Newport harbor by British forces in the lead up to the 1778 Battle of Rhode Island during the American Revolution.
Now the Rhode Island Marine Archeology Project (RIMP) says it has managed to identify the wreckage of the Lord Sandwich in Newport harbor, off the state of Rhode Island.
Sunk in shallow waters
"The American army was assembled on the mainland and the French sent a fleet to help," says Dr Kathy Abbass, the executive director of Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project. "The British knew they were at great risk so they ordered 13 ships out to be scuttled in a line to blockade the city. They were sunk in fairly shallow waters." According to RIMP, the wreckages are spread across nine different sites, and one group of 5 ships includes the Lord Sandwich transport, formerly Captain James Cook's Endeavour.
The organisation is now launching a campaign to finance the excavation process.
The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project is a not-for-profit membership organization that trains volunteers to conduct maritime history and marine archaeology research under professional direction. The RIMAP professional staff also offers a wide range of cultural resource management services to serve commercial needs.