AN Oxford explorer says he has reached the last known site of Ernest Shackleton’s famous lost ship in the Antarctic.

Mensun Bound says his team arrived at the site at around 5.30am on Sunday morning and the search has begun.

Mr Bound’s outlandish Antarctic search for The Endurance is behind schedule, following difficult conditions and the completion of the science-based part of the mission.

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship was lost in the Weddell Sea in November 1915.

Mr Bound, 65, believes the odds of finding the vessel, which sunk to a depth of two miles and now lies beneath thick sea ice, are ‘heavily stacked against us’.

Horspath’s Mr Bound, who has said the discovery would be bigger than that of Titanic, explained: “All day Saturday we were wedged in thick ice 19 miles from the site. At 12.36am Sunday, we were able to resume our passage to the Endurance search area. At 5.24am, we arrived at the last position recorded by the Captain of the Endurance, Frank Worsley.”

Explaining that conditions were good on Sunday night, he continued: “A probe is currently (determining) water temperature and conductivity... The underwater search will begin after noon. Its mission will take about 45 hours.”