One Ocean Expeditions: Discovery of Long Lost Vessel Marks Third Significant Underwater Archaeological Find in the Arctic
For the second time in Canadian history, One Ocean Expeditions (OOE) has contributed to the discovery expedition to find a long-lost vessel in collaboration with The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS).
The most recent discovery of evidence of Nova Zembla, a Scottish whaling ship that was wrecked near Buchan Gulf off the coast of Baffin Island in 1902, will help shed light on the historical and political complexity of the whaling industry in the Arctic.
The successful find of the HMS Erebus in 2014 marked a momentous breakthrough in the exploration of the Canadian Arctic. Subsequently the HMS Terror was found two years later.
The newest discovery of Nova Zembla occurred on 31 August 2018 by fellows of The RCGS Dr. Matthew Ayre and Dr. Michael Moloney, from the Arctic Institute of North America, University of Calgary. Evidence of the wreck was discovered near Buchan Gulf while traveling onboard OOE’s Classic Northwest Passage and Greenland voyage on Akademik Sergey Vavilov.
This discovery marks the first British whaling wreck in the eastern Canadian Arctic to be found and investigated. The finding of the ship will present an opportunity to ground-truth historical documents and understand more completely the operation of Arctic whaling ships.
Information gained from the discovery will complement past investigations of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, continuing to tell the story of maritime nautical history in the Canadian Arctic.
“We are thrilled for the expedition team and their discovery of Nova Zembla. The significance of such a find is of great importance, and we’ll continue to be a proud supporter and contributor in educational and scientific programs as well as historical outreach,” said One Ocean Expeditions’ Managing Director, Andrew Prossin.
“This is exciting news as it is sure to reveal unknown details about the history of whaling in the Arctic. We hope it will allow us to continue finding answers to many longstanding questions in that field.”
With the contribution of onboard facilities such as science labs and berths, along with a zodiac and crew to assist in the search, the integration of exploratory work such as this diversifies the expedition experience. Passengers on board were invited to be a part of the expedition with presentations taking place onboard by Dr. Ayre and Dr. Moloney, and a commemorative patch shared to celebrate the success of the find and share in the excitement.
OOE’s extensive commitment to responsible education and development of nationally/internationally accredited scientific programs, university field studies, and the continued interest and support of discovering the undiscovered.