One of History's Most Famous Ships May Have Been Found

The wreckage of the Endeavour has possibly been pinpointed
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 19, 2018 6:11 AM CDT
Updated Sep 23, 2018 10:10 AM CDT
One of History's Most Famous Ships May Have Been Found
HM Bark Endeavour, a full-scale replica of Captain Cook's ship, is pulled by a tugboat from Middlesbrough to its permanent home in Whitby, England, Friday June 1, 2018.   (Danny Lawson/PA via AP)

Americans know the Nina, the Pinta, and the Santa Maria; in Australia, the Endeavour is the ship that's burned into memory. It set sail from Plymouth, England, in 1768 with Captain James Cook at the helm and was in 1770 the first European ship to chart parts of Australia during Cook's round-the-world voyage. Now, what the Sydney Morning Herald calls "one of the greatest maritime mysteries of all time" may have been solved: the ship's final resting place. It's long been known that the Endeavour came to rest off the coast of Rhode Island; the New York Times reports the ship was used by the British during the Revolutionary War and then sunk as a means of thwarting French ships coming to assist the Americans. For the last 25 years, it has been believed to be one of 13 wrecks, and in 2016, that group was narrowed to five.

Now, "we can say we think we know which one it is," says the head of the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project. RIMAP on Friday released the results of its study, which reportedly centers around a site off Goat Island in Narragansett Bay in Newport. But the Guardian sounds a note of caution, quoting the director of the Australian National Maritime Museum as saying a confirmation has not yet happened, and that divers are retrieving timber samples that will hopefully provide verification that the ship is British in origin. The Morning Herald notes the ship was constructed from oak and pine, and it's not clear how much of it has survived after two centuries underwater. (Read more discoveries stories.)

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