First ever underwater guided tour of HMS Erebus

First ever underwater guided tour of HMS Erebus

Ryan Harris of Parks Canada's Underwater Archaeology Team reveals secrets of the wreck of the Franklin Expedition’s HMS Erebus.

In a video streamed live from the Queen Maud Gulf off Nunavut, underwater archaeologist Ryan Harris moved from stern to bow, stopping at a handful of different points along the wreck to share clues from the long-sunk vessel.

He started by inspecting two brass six-pounder canons, one of the first features the team saw with a remotely operated vehicle when they began inspecting the site with an “underwater robot”, after the 19th-century wreck was discovered late last summer.

Moving forward, he travelled to the upper deck to look through an existing window into what was once the vessel’s war room, where senior officers took their meals. He then went on to the ship’s main mast, once the largest of three on board before it was cut short after sinking.

The broken top of the main mast shows how the ice violently carried the mast away soon after it sank.

HMS Terror

The other vessel in Franklin's expedition to find the North West passage, the HMS Terror, has still not been located. It is believed, based on the same Inuit tales which helped locate HMS Erebus, that HMS Terror can be found west of King William Island in the Victoria Strait.


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