In late 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton set forth for Antarctica with 27 men on board the Endurance, determined to be the first man to cross the continent from coast to coast.
His ship, the Endurance, became trapped in pack ice just short of the continent. When the ice crushed their ship to splinters, they were left stranded on the ice floes.
Shackleton resolved to rescue each and every man, and turned disaster into one of the greatest survival stories of all time.
About the Endurance
Designed by Ole Aanderud Larsen, Endurance was built at the Framnæs shipyard in Sandefjord, Norway, and fully completed on 17 December 1912. She was built under the supervision of master wood shipbuilder Christian Jacobsen, who was renowned for insisting that all men in his employment were not just skilled shipwrights but also be experienced in seafaring aboard whaling or sealing ships. Every detail of her construction had been scrupulously planned to ensure maximum durability: for example, every joint and fitting was cross-braced for maximum strength.
The ship was launched on 17 December 1912 and was initially christened Polaris (eponymous with Polaris, the North Star). She was 144 feet (44 m) long, with a 25 feet (7.6 m) beam, and measured 348 tons gross. Her original purpose to provide luxurious accommodation for small tourist and hunting parties in the Arctic as an ice-capable steam yacht. As launched she had 10 passenger cabins, a spacious dining saloon and galley (with accommodation for two cooks), a smoking room, a darkroom to allow passengers to develop photographs, electric lighting and even a small bathroom.