The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society

October 01, 2014 14:54 ET

Royal Canadian Geographical Society: It's the HMS Erebus!

OTTAWA, ONTARIO--(Marketwired - Oct. 1, 2014) - The Royal Canadian Geographical Society (RCGS) congratulates Prime Minister Stephen Harper on today's announcement of the positive identification of HMS Erebus as the 19th century ship discovered last month by the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition. This marks another historic step toward better understanding the fate of the 1845 British Arctic Expedition commanded by Sir John Franklin, says John Geiger, Chief Executive Officer of the RCGS.

"Erebus was one of the great exploration ships of its era, of any era," said Geiger. "To find it in such an incredible state of preservation represents a great moment for Canada, for Britain, and for those throughout the world with an interest in geography and exploration."

Geiger, a member of the Victoria Strait Expedition, praised Parks Canada, whose underwater archaeologists made the identification saying the agency, which is under Environment Minister Leona Aglukkaq, has legal responsibility for protecting, documenting, and conserving the wreck, and is justly renowned for its work protecting Canada's cultural and natural heritage: "Erebus is in good hands."

"Franklin was based aboard Erebus, that ship is where he lived and likely where he died. It was at the very centre of this great historical mystery. The stunning condition of the ship and the artifacts represent a global treasure," said Geiger, who wrote Frozen In Time: The Fate of the Franklin Expedition with Prof. Owen Beattie of the University of Alberta.

The RCGS partnered with Parks Canada, the Royal Canadian Navy, Canadian Coast Guard, and other federal agencies, as well as the Government of Nunavut, and other private and foundation leaders in northern exploration and research, including The W. Garfield Weston Foundation, Arctic Research Foundation, One Ocean Expeditions and Shell Canada, on the 2014 Victoria Strait Expedition.

The Royal Canadian Geographical Society is Canada's centre for geography and exploration. Founded in 1929, the RCGS is dedicated to promoting geographic literacy through its education program, Canadian Geographic Education, and to making Canada better known to Canadians and the world through its publications, awards, lectures and research and expedition grants.

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