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The World's Longest and Largest Search and Rescue Mission - 18 June 2011

One of the less enviable records relating to the Franklin Expedition is that it is the subject of the world's longest and largest search and rescue mission. OK, so no one is going to be rescued now, but it's still a search mission.

It was in 1848, one hundred and sixty three years ago, that this was started when Sir James Clark Ross set out in HMS Enterprise, accompanied by HMS Investigator, to try to rescue his old friend Captain Francis Crozier and the survivors of the Franklin Expedition. At that time probably one hundred members of the Expedition were still live. And as Crozier had lived in Ross' house in Blackheath for his last three months in England until he sailed in 1845, in 1848 the two men must often have wondered what the other was doing. But they were never to meet again, and by the time rescuers reached the part of the Arctic where Franklin's men were, every man was long dead.

But the search for the men's remains, any records and their ships continues to this day. The well-connected journalist Randy Boswell has a very interesting story here describing this year's search for Franklin, the latest to be announced in this unparalleled 163 year story.

Let us hope that this principled search for answers has some success this year.

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