Amundsen Ship Back above Water

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October 16, 2016

A ship that carried famed South Pole explorer Roald Amundsen has emerged from the depths after decades underwater.

Amundsen was the first to reach the South Pole, in 1911, and in 1906, the first to lead an expedition through the Northwest Passage. On the South Pole expedition, Amundsen sailed aboard the Fram; on the Northwest Passage expedition, he sailed aboard the Gjøa.

It was in 1918 that Amundsen and crew set out aboard the Maud to traverse the Northeast Passage. They left Oslo, Norway, and travelled along the Russian coast to Nome, Alaska. In all, the crew spent seven years aboard the Maud. The ship took the crew through the frozen Arctic lands, faciliating observations of weather and the stars. Some of the crew took photos of the Northern Lights. In the end, Amundsen had to give the ship up to pay some bills, and the ship made it way into the hands of the Hudson’s Bay Company, in Canada.

The Maud was off the coast of Cambridge Bay, near Victoria Island, in 1930 when the ship sprung a leak and sunk. The ship remained underwater for many years, as scavengers took some of the ship’s wood for fuel.

Norway regained control of the ship in the 1990s, and a salvage team won approval to raise the ship and bring it home. After a successful surfacing and a good clean-out, the crew have the ships ready to travel. All that’s left is for the surrounding ice to melt.

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