Best-preserved, with the help of sediment that had seeped in through the stern gallery windows, was Captain Francis Crozier’s cabin. His desk, map cabinets with closed drawers, boxes probably containing scientific instruments, a complete tripod and a pair of thermometers were identified.
The only closed door on the lower deck was the one leading to the captain’s sleeping quarters.
Parks Canada says it expects that further investigation will reveal documents sealed and still legible in these areas, preserved by the darkness and a water temperature of around zero.
“The impression we witnessed when exploring the HMS Terror is of a ship only recently deserted by its crew, seemingly forgotten by the passage of time – regardless of the fact that it was approximately 170 years ago that the Terror sank unceremoniously to the bottom of the bay where it now rests,” said Parks Canada Project Director and ROV pilot Ryan Harris.
The release of the footage, which is now undergoing detailed analysis, was timed to coincide with the local Umiyaqtutt (Shipwreck) Festival. “The Inuit Heritage Trust is very pleased with the recent discoveries on HMS Terror,” said Pamela Gross, President of the Inuit Heritage Trust.
“As joint owners of the artefacts, we share Parks Canada’s excitement over the amazing potential to unlock more of this mystery which, combined with Inuit traditional knowledge, will help paint a more complete story of the Franklin Expedition and its fate.”
Footage of the wreck of HMS Terror can be seen here.