Back to IndieWire

Stunning Discovery of Shackleton Expedition Ship Is a Story You’ll Be Able to Watch Soon

The historic discovery of Shackleton's wrecked ship made headlines around the world, and now the successful search will be the focus of a new doc.

Menson Bound, Director of Exploration of Endurance22 expedition on the sea ice of Weddell Sea, in the Antarctoc. 20220220, Esther Horvath

Menson Bound, Director of Exploration of Endurance22 expedition

Esther Horvath/National Geographic

Over 100 years after explorer Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance was shipwrecked, The New York Times reported on March 9 that the ship has been discovered. The miraculous story is now set to become a NatGeo documentary.

Airing as part of the network’s “Explorer” franchise this fall, “Endurance” will chart the discovery of Sir Shackleton’s shipwrecked Endurance, which sank in the Antarctic in 1915. The ship was located at the bottom of the Weddell Sea, east of the Antarctic Peninsula, using undersea drones. The Endurance22 search expedition team had been searching for more than two weeks in a 150-square-mile area around where the 144-foot wooden ship went down. The wreck was found at a depth of 3,008 meters.

NatGeo is partnering with ABC News, Snow’s History Hit, All3Media label Little Dot Studios, and Consequential for the feature, directed by BAFTA nominee Natalie Hewit (“Antarctica: Ice Station Rescue,” “Greta Thunberg: A Year To Change The World”).

The Endurance initially sank in 1915 after being “crushed in pack ice” during an expedition from South Georgia to Antarctica. Following the ship’s sinking, the 28-man crew was forced to make its way by sea to uninhabited Elephant Island before Shackleton and five men set off in a lifeboat to seek help more than 800 miles away. After several attempts, Shackleton eventually made it back to Elephant Island to rescue his crew and, miraculously, all of the men under his command in the Weddell Sea survived two years in the wilds of Antarctica, making it one of history’s great stories of human survival.

The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust–led expedition to locate the shipwreck set off from Cape Town February 5 on a voyage to the Weddell Sea. The expedition was led by polar geographer Shears, with marine archaeologist Mensun Bound as director of exploration. They were joined on the South African icebreaker Agulhas II by a crew of scientists, archeologists, and extreme-environment filmmakers, led by British historian Dan Snow. Together, they documented the events of the discovery in real-time.

To support the documentary film, National Geographic will unveil exclusive clips across its social media platforms, and profile the discovery on the “Overheard at National Geographic” podcast.

Sign Up: Stay on top of the latest breaking film and TV news! Sign up for our Email Newsletters here.

This Article is related to: Television and tagged ,

Get The Latest IndieWire Alerts And Newsletters Delivered Directly To Your Inbox