The Canadian government confirmed Monday the discovery of Terror, the second ship of the legendary British expedition led by John Franklin, who died while exploring the Arctic in 1846.
A team of archaeologists has validated the discovery of the wreck made earlier this month by scientists at the Arctic Research Foundation, said in a statement the federal agency Parks Canada.
The two ships of explorer John Franklin, the Terror and Erebus had sunk in the Arctic Ocean after being stuck for a year and a half in the ice.
The 129 crew members had come to abandon ship but none had survived.
The expedition left England on May 19, 1845 in an attempt to discover a Northwest Passage for access to Asia through the Arctic Ocean.
The probable discovery of Terror was announced two weeks ago by the Arctic Research Foundation, who said that it had found the wreck lying 24 meters deep.
Parks Canada archaeologists have confirmed the discovery of Terror using sonar and after diving three times to the site “in difficult weather conditions when visibility was limited.”
The ship was lying in the Terror Bay on King William Island, where a member of the team of the Arctic Research Foundation said to have seen a few years ago a mast piercing the surface of the water.
Local communities “have played a key role in sharing the oral history of the ship, making possible the discoveries of the Erebus and Terror,” said the Minister of Culture of Nunavut, George Kuksuk.
The wrecks still belong to the British government but discussions are underway to transfer ownership to the Canadian government, said Parks Canada.