Published: Fri, September 21, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Experts Locate the Wreck of Captain Cook's Ship HMS Endeavour

Experts Locate the Wreck of Captain Cook's Ship HMS Endeavour

They are expected to announce on Friday "one or two" sites in Newport Harbour in Rhode Island, where the Endeavour was scuttled during the American War of Independence in 1778.

But just years after carrying Captain James Cook on his epic journey from England to the eastern shores of Australia, the HMS Endeavour slipped out of commission, and out of the history books, her whereabouts a mystery.

- The Endeavour next undertook navy voyages to and from the Falkland Islands. before being sold into private hands in 1775.

Australia, New Zealand, the USA and United Kingdom could also feasibly lay claim to the Endeavour on the grounds that it is historically significant to their country.

This year is the 250th anniversary of Cook's departure from England in the Endeavour. When French reinforcements came to assist American revolutionaries in Rhode Island, the British made a decision to sink their ships rather than allow them to be captured, creating a blockade out of scuttled vessels to block the French from getting into the harbor. Remarkably, the Endeavour rounded the Cape of Good Hope, at the southernmost tip of Africa, and made its way back to the British-occupied island of Saint Helena, almost three years after it had departed England. Here they believe, with a high degree of certainty, that they have found the final resting place of HMS Endeavour.

Since then, marine archaeologists have been trying to identify the wreck, narrowing the search to five out of 13 wrecks in Newport Harbor.

It was later renamed the Lord Sandwich and used as a troop transport and prison brig.

"We can say we think we know which one it is", Kathy Abbass, director of RIMAP, told Fairfax Media, speaking ahead of the official update. "They took everything off of the ships and sunk them right before the Battle of Newport".

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Volunteer researchers from the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project began their study of the group of vessels believed to include the ship in 1993.

HMB ENDEAVOUR sailing replica from Hew Mills on Vimeo.

According to the RIMAP website , the location of the wreck has been narrowed to 'possibly to one or two archaeological sites.' There has also been some preliminary surveying of the site where Cook's ship is believed to rest by dive teams.

The Endeavour has arguably never been forgotten, however.

"Captain Cook is regarded as the Christopher Columbus of Australia, so these cannons are of great interest to them out there", H. Radclyffe Roberts, the academy's director, told The New York Times at the time. Divers are now working to confirm the ship is the Endeavour.

Still, nothing is a substitute for the real thing. The Endeavour, which according to the Cook Society is "Captain Cook's most famous ship", also reached the east coast of modern Australia and was the first to moor in Botany Bay.

But marine archaeologists said this week that after a search that spanned decades, the remains of the Endeavour, however decrepit, may have been located.

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