Canada continues search for former bomb vessel HMS Terror

The Canadian government said Tuesday it would continue the search for HMS Terror and revisit the already discovered HMS Erebus.

Both ships sank in 1845, after explorer John Franklin set sail from England with the two ships in search of a Northwest Passage across what is now Canada’s Arctic. The ships and crews vanished, prompting a massive search that continues to this day.

In 1992, the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were designated as a national historic site under the Historic Sites and Monuments Act, despite neither shipwreck having been found at that time. HMS Erebus was discovered in the waters of Nunavut in 2014.

In March 2016 the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna announced $16.9 million over five years to support the ongoing investigation of HMS Erebus and the continuing search for HMS Terror, and for the development of multi-purpose infrastructure.

Mission Erebus and Terror 2016 is expected to begin at the end of August and will conclude in mid-September and will build on the success of previous missions and the collaboration with the Government of Nunavut, Inuit communities and other public, private and non-profit partners.

Parks Canada’s underwater archaeology team will be diving on HMS Erebus to document any changes to the wreck since their last visit to the site in the summer of 2015.

The search for HMS Terror, the second ship of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition, will continue in the waters off Nunavut. The Canadian Coast Guard’s CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Shawinigan (with personnel and survey equipment provided by the Canadian Hydrographic Service), and the Arctic Research Foundation’s research vessel Martin Bergmann will spend approximately nine days with Parks Canada’s underwater archaeology team, in the continued search for the missing Franklin ship.

Members of the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee, who advise Parks Canada on the management of The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site, will be visiting the location of HMS Erebus during this years’ expedition.

Mission Erebus and Terror 2016 showcases the high level of interoperability and cooperation the Royal Canadian Navy has with intergovernmental partners. The RCN continues to expand its ability in conducting Northern operations as we prepare for the arrival of our new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships and Parks Canada gains the use of our capabilities and skills to aid in connecting Canadians with Canada’s Arctic heritage,” Canadian Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan said.