1848 Wreck Found in Arctic
Doomed Investigator was on rescue mission
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 29, 2010 3:58 AM CDT
Updated Jul 29, 2010 6:40 AM CDT
This 1851 illustration shows the HMS Investigator on the north coast of Baring Island in the Arctic.    (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Public Archives of Canada)

(Newser) – The incredibly well-preserved wreck of a British expedition ship abandoned in 1848 has been found in the Canadian Arctic. The Investigator, which was on a mission to search for the lost Franklin expedition, is believed to have been the first vessel to navigate the Northwest Passage. Its crew abandoned it when it became ice-bound, and they were eventually saved by another rescue ship.

The ship was found under 25 feet of water with the help of metal detectors and sonar. "It's an incredible site," Canada's environment minister tells the BBC. "You could make out all the planking on the deck, the details on the hull, all of the detail of the timber. It's sitting perfectly upright on the floor of the ocean." The team that found it now plan to search for the still-missing ships of the doomed Franklin expedition.