One of Franklin’s missing ships, HMS Erebus shipwreck has been located last September 2014. Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper made an announcement that Parks Canada and an ice diver team are scheduled to conduct an expedition to examine the ship in April. The investigation will be tagged as Operation NUNALIVUT. The divers will perform for approximately 11 days.
The announcement was made during an event at the Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum upon Harper receiving the Erebus Medal award for his contribution and support for the Victoria Strait Expedition (2014) that resulted in the discovery of the wreckage.
“Operation NUNALIVUT will showcase to the world the extraordinary abilities of Canadian Armed Forces ice divers and Parks Canada’s underwater archaeologists. I wish all participants the best as they embark on winter dives beneath the Arctic ice to learn more about HMS Erebus,” Harper stated in his speech.
Royal Canadian Navy divers will take on a huge challenge to uncover the secrets of the ill-fated vessel in the middle of extremely cold environment. They will undergo what they call “confined space diving” where risks are greater not to mention the strong icy current they have to face and other dangerous factors present in the dive site.
The collaboration efforts between the divers and the archeologists has begun a few weeks early where the former taught the latter several ice diving techniques while the divers themselves learn how to prevent damaging the HMS Erebus during the operation.