A MAN from Oxfordshire will travel thousands of miles from the county to the Antarctic to help find a ship that mysteriously went missing over 100 years ago.

Mensun Bound, from Horspath, will be leading the expedition as the director of exploration on his second trip to the icy waters. 

Sir Ernest Shackleton’s ship, Endurance, went missing when the ship became trapped in ice and sank way back in 1915, with 27 men and one cat on board.

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Since the ship went missing, no one has been able to locate it – becoming one of the great maritime mysteries of all time.

Mr Bound’s expedition, called Endurance22, will launch on February 5th 2022, making the ten-day journey to the Weddell Sea, where the ship is said to be located.

The scientific expedition aims to locate, survey, and film the shipwreck, so people can learn more about the historical vessel.

The team will have to pound its way through miles of packs of ice, but the effects of climate change will make the expedition a little less difficult, as the melting ice allows for the vessel to pass through with more ease.

An international team of scientists specialising in ice and climate change will accompany the Horspath local.

Mr Bound said: “The ship is going to be found by one group or another fairly soon.

“But we want to be their first and for it to be found by a responsible archaeological group, who will leave it in its place – unlike when the Titanic was found and the wreck suddenly came a free for all, that’s why pieces of the Titanic have ended up anywhere and everywhere.

“Endurance is something within the British bloodstream, it is baked into our DNA and so we want to find it, and treat it with respect.”

Oxford Mail:

Once the wreckage is found, the team plans to conduct several surveys using special technology, to get photos and create 3D computer models of what the ship looks like.

He added: “This is not a ‘bring them back alive’ mission – we just want to get to know this historical monument, and eventually use it to create things such as museum displays.”

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This is not Mr Bound’s first plan to travel to the treacherous waters of the Antarctic, however. 

In 2019 he headed his first search for the Endurance, but the mission was called off after the underwater vehicle, which would have been used to locate the vessel, suffered a technical fault and became lost at sea. 

Oxford Mail:

Mr Bound added: “At the end of the last mission I was pretty cut up – I never thought I would have a chance and now I do.

“I want to clobber more ice and find the wreck.

“What we are doing will not be easy and we may run into trouble, there is no one who can rescue you when you are in an ice pack – no one can hear you scream, the nearest people are in the space station.”