An exciting new book on the sensational story of discovery and intrigue in Canada’s Arctic hit store shelves today. Lavishly illustrated with stunning photos taken by Parks Canada underwater archaeologists coupled with the story-telling authority of Andrew Cohen make Lost Beneath the Ice – the story of HMS Investigator and its significance to early Arctic exploration – a unique account to be treasured by Canadians and shared the world over.
Dr. Colin Carrie, Member of Parliament for Oshawa, Ontario and Parliamentary Secretary to the Honourable Leona Aglukkaq, Canada’s Minister of Environment and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, officially launched the 150-page book, which features the first-ever photos of the historic vessel and text by Andrew Cohen, a best-selling author and award-winning journalist.
“Our Government is committed to promoting Canada’s Northern history by preserving the heritage which unites us as Canadians,” said Minister Aglukkaq. “Parks Canada’s exciting discovery of HMS Investigator in 2010 offers us unprecedented information on the early exploration of Canada’s North and the search for the North-West Passage.”
“Lost Beneath the Ice will help current and future generations of Canadians better understand and appreciate the important role that early northern exploration played in shaping our nation and the important and continued influence that the north has in defining Canadian culture,” said Dr. Carrie.
When Sir John Franklin disappeared in the Arctic in the 1840s, the British Admiralty launched the largest rescue mission in its history. Among the search vessels was HMSInvestigator, which left England in 1850 under the command of Captain Robert McClure. While the ambitious McClure never found Franklin, he and his crew were eventually credited with discovering the fabled Northwest Passage.
Illustrated with archival imagery and startling underwater photographs of HMS Investigator and its artifacts, Lost Beneath the Ice also offers an elegant and authoritative account of Investigator’s incredible journey leading up to its eventual discovery.
Parks Canada’s search for the historic shipwreck was a formidable undertaking. Despite the challenges they faced, Marc-André Bernier, Chief Underwater Archaeology Services, and his team were successful in their pursuit, locating the missing vessel off the shores of Banks Island in the Northwest Territories, just outside Aulavik National Park.
“We were jubilant,” said Mr. Bernier. “Not only was finding the wreckage an incredibly exciting moment, but to find it in better condition than expected, sitting upright, made one feel as if it had been mysteriously waiting for us, all this time. It was surreal.”