Researchers in the US believe they may be a step closer to locating the ship. The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) has known for some time the ship was scuttled in Newport Harbour, off the US coast, in 1778. But they now believe they have narrowed down the search to a cluster of five shipwrecks on the seafloor.
RIMAP: "All of the 13 ships lost in Newport during the (American) Revolution are important to US history, but it will be a national celebration in both NZ and Australia when RIMAP identifies Endeavour."
Capt Cook set sail on Endeavour - a British-built coal ship originally called Earl of Pembroke - in 1768 on a scientific voyage to map the Pacific Ocean. In 1769, he spent six months charting the NZ coastline,
After returning to Britain, Endeavour was renamed Lord Sandwich and became a troop carrier. During the American War of Independence, it was scuttled by the British Navy in a blockade.
The wreckage has never been found, but RIMAP researchers have been investigating 13 sunken ships, with the help of remote sensing equipment and historical documents.
They say an analysis of data suggests there is "an 80-100% chance" that the Lord Sandwich wreckage is still in Newport Harbour, "and because the Lord Sandwich was Capt Cook's Endeavour, that means RIMAP has found her too".
The announcement coincides with the 240th anniversary of Rhode Island declaring independence from the UK.
RIMAP says identifying "one of the most important shipwrecks in world history would be "an intriguing birthday gift for all of Rhode Island"...and an important historical link to NZ and Oz too.
|"HMS Endeavour": John Charles Allcot (1888-1973)|