A team of specialists came together for more than two weeks in August and September 2015 to continue the search for HMS Terror. Parks Canada underwater archaeologists were joined by experts from Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Canadian Coast Guard, the Royal Canadian Navy, the Canadian Hydrographic Service and the Government of Nunavut for this leg of Mission Erebus and Terror 2015.
This summer, the ice cover was heavy in the Victoria Strait where the search for the Terror took place. Helicopter reconnaissance missions helped keep an eye on the ice conditions.
The Canadian Coast Guard Ship Sir Wilfrid Laurier was the main platform for the search for the Terror. This large red-and-white icebreaker carried three smaller survey vessels on her deck, including the Kinglett which can be seen here.
Standing at the bridge of CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the crew navigates through the ice towards the search area in Victoria Strait. The crew worked in shifts to allow the ship to travel 24 hours per day.
Each morning during the search for the Terror, a crane launched the RV Investigator from the deck of CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier.
On a typical search day aboard the RV Investigator, the search team deployed the multibeam sonar and scanned the images that were relayed to a computer monitor inside the vessel. Besides scanning the seabed for large undersea objects, the multibeam sonar was used to collect data to chart the waters for safe navigation.
After a 14-hour day of survey work, the deck crew of the CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier refuels the RV Investigator.
The Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Moncton was also part of this year’s search for the Terror.
While the search for the Terror was underway, team members were treated to views of Arctic wildlife. Thierry Boyer, a Parks Canada underwater archaeologist, caught this image of a seal floating near an ice floe in the Victoria Strait.
A helicopter pilot spotted this polar bear on the shore close to the land archaeologists and Canadian Hydrographic Service experts who were working near the Terror search area. Precautions were taken to ensure the polar bear did not approach their area of operation.
Although the Terror was not found during this search season, the team was pleased with the progress that was made. Thanks to good weather during the two-and-a-half-week long mission, the researchers were able to survey a large territory. The data they gathered will be analysed by the Canadian Hydrographic Service to help modernize the nautical charts.