The two ships of the Franklin Expedition and their crews disappeared during an 1845 quest for the Northwest Passage. They were the subject of many searches throughout the 19th century, but the mystery of exactly what happened to Franklin and his men has never been solved. All 128 members of the Expedition died when their ships became locked in ice while exploring the Arctic in a search for the Northwest Passage.
Inuit testimony in the late 1840s claimed that one ship sank in deep water west of King William Island, and one ship went perhaps as far south as Queen Maud Gulf or into Wilmot and Crampton Bay. The location of this wreck backs up that testimony which was widely discounted previously.
Earlier searches had discovered the bodies of a dozen or so men from the Franklin Expedition on King William Island. Watch a video about the discovery of the wonderfully preserved mummies at Franklin Expedition Mummies
A search team made up of a partnership between Parks Canada, the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, the Arctic Research Foundation, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy and the government of Nunavut made the discovery. They confirmed it on Sunday using a remotely operated underwater vehicle recently acquired by Parks Canada. They found the wreck 11 metres below the water’s surface.
Since 2008, Parks Canada has led six major searches for the lost Franklin ships. Four vessels — the Canadian Coast Guard ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Kingston and vessels from the Arctic Research Foundation and the One Ocean Expedition — led the search this summer.
Read more and watch videos at Long-lost ship from Franklin expedition found and at Lost Franklin expedition ship found in the Arctic