Ship fight: row erupts over wreck in US waters identified as Captain Cook’s Endeavour | Australia news

A dispute has erupted over James Cook’s ship the Endeavour after the Australian Nationwide Maritime Museum introduced it had been identified in waters off Rhode Island in the US.

Prepare dinner sailed the ship across the South Pacific earlier than touchdown on the east coast of Australia in 1770. It was scuttled in Newport Harbor by British forces in 1778, in the course of the American Warfare of Independence.

Since 1999 maritime archaeologists have been investigating a number of 18th-century shipwrecks in the world.

On Thursday the chief govt of the museum, Kevin Sumption, introduced that the wreck of Cook’s vessel had been positively identified. He paid tribute to the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Undertaking (Rimap) and its head, Dr Kathy Abbass, for his or her “dedication to the positioning and its historical past”.


However Abbass mentioned the museum’s declare the Endeavour had been identified was a breach of contract, and blamed “Australian feelings or politics” for the “untimely” announcement.

She mentioned Rimap was the lead organisation for the examine and that whereas the shipwreck was in keeping with “what may be anticipated of the Endeavour”, there was no “indeniable information” to show it.

“(And) there are lots of unanswered questions that would overturn such an identification,” she mentioned in a press release offered to Guardian Australia.

“When the examine is completed, RIMAP will submit the legit report on its web site.


“RIMAP recognises the connection between Australian residents of British descent and the Endeavour, however RIMAP’s conclusions will likely be pushed by correct scientific course of and never Australian feelings or politics.”

A number of particulars on the wreck satisfied archaeologists that they had discovered Endeavour after matching structural particulars and the form of the stays to these on 18th-century plans of the ship.

“I’m happy that that is the ultimate resting place of one of the crucial vital and contentious vessels in Australia’s maritime historical past,” Sumption mentioned on the Maritime Museum.

“The final items of the puzzle needed to be confirmed earlier than I felt capable of make this name.


A duplicate ship of the Endeavour. {Photograph}: Stephen Schmidt, Australian Nationwide Maritime Museum/AAP Picture

“Primarily based on archival and archaeological proof, I’m satisfied it’s the Endeavour.

“It’s an vital historic second, as this vessel’s position in exploration, astronomy and science applies not simply to Australia, but additionally Aotearoa New Zealand, the UK and the USA.”

Solely about 15% of the vessel stays and researchers at the moment are centered on what could be finished to guard and protect it.

Initially launched in 1764 as the Earl of Pembroke, the ship was renamed Endeavour in 1768 by Britain’s Royal Navy and ready for a significant scientific voyage to the Pacific.

From 1768 to 1771, the Endeavour sailed the South Pacific, primarily to document the transit of Venus in Tahiti in 1769.

Prepare dinner then sailed it across the South Pacific trying to find “the Nice Southern Land”, charting the coast of New Zealand and Australia’s jap shoreline earlier than claiming the land for Nice Britain on 22 August 1770.

Endeavour was later offered to non-public house owners, renamed as Lord Sandwich and was intentionally sunk in 1778 by British forces in the course of the American Warfare of Independence.

A 12 months later Prepare dinner was killed in Hawaii throughout his third Pacific voyage, 10 years earlier than the primary fleet arrived in New South Wales to ascertain a British colony.

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