Arctic search for Franklin's lost ships continues

Canadians are heading back to the Northwest Passage this summer to continue searching for the wrecks of Sir John Franklin's lost ships from 1845.

Parks Canada will use an autonomous underwater vehicle to aid with this year's search for HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, Federal Environment Minister Peter Kent said Thursday.

The ships were lost during the British explorer's ill-fated 1845 expedition to chart the Northwest Passage. Neither he nor any of his 128 crewman returned.

The search is scheduled to begin Aug. 21, weather permitting, in an area west of King William Island in Nunavut.

Parks Canada archeologists will also spend this summer exploring the wreck of HMS Investigator, a ship that was abandoned in 1854 during its search for Franklin's expedition.

HMS Investigator and a cache belonging to captain Robert McClure and the graves of three crew members were found in July 2010 in Banks Island's Mercy Bay in the Northwest Territories.

Archeological teams will study the Investigator between July 10-25, diving underwater to capture images of the wreck.

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