Ernest Shackleton’s expedition to cross the Antarctic continent, which included the crushing of his ship, Endurance, and turned the expedition into a fight for survival, is considered one of history’s most famous successful failures.
Shackleton and his men were believed to be dead. Forgotten by the world because of the outbreak of World War I, they set off across the ice for a self-rescue. In what is seen as one of the great feats of seamanship and navigation, Shackleton and five of his men sailed a small boat from Elephant Island, 800 miles across the Southern Ocean to reach a whaling station on South Georgia Island. Months later, on his fourth attempt, Shackleton returned to Elephant Island to rescue the rest of his crew, all of whom survived the ordeal.
For over a hundred years, Endurance has been lying 10,000 feet below the surface of the Weddell Sea, but on February 5 an international team of adventurers, technicians and scientists set off from Cape Town, South Africa, for a two-week expedition to locate and survey the wreck.
The expedition, called Endurance22, is using the 440-foot icebreaker, S.A. Agulhas II, which is equipped with state-of-the-art autonomous underwater vehicles and two helicopters. The helicopters will be used to fly onto an ice floe above the wreck if the ship cannot break through the ice.
You can read more about the effort to find Endurance in The New York Times