Amundsen's 'Maud' to be raised from Northwest Passage seafloor

Roald Amundsens Arctic exploration vessel Maud, seen in Seattle in

Roald Amundsen's Arctic exploration vessel "Maud," seen in Seattle in June 1922. Photo courstesty of the Norwegian Polar Institute.

The wreck of Roald Amundsen’s ship “Maud” will be brought back to Norway from the seabed in Cambridge Bay in Canada’s Northwest Passage, where it has rested for the past 80 years. The wood has not rotted away due to the cold water and the hull remains partially intact.

In 1918, Amundsen left Norway aboard the “Maud” intending to drift with the polar ice across the Northeast Passage. The plan was to sail the vessel through the Northeast Passage and into the ice to the northwest of the Bering Sea. Once trapped in the ice, the ship was to drift with the ice pack westward and over the North Pole, if possible. But the “Maud” never found the westward current, and the expedition, which ended in 1925, failed.

The “Maud” was sold by creditors in 1925 to the Hudson Bay Co. The vessel eventually sank at its moorings in 1930, ending its days as a floating warehouse and radio station.

Boatbuilder Chr. Jensen in Vollen, Norway, built the “Maud” in 1917. The small town near Oslo has a long tradition of boat building. Local company Tandberg Eiendom will finance the vessel’s homecoming. Jan Wanggaard from Asker is engaged as project manager and will lead the salvage expedition.

If all goes well, the ship will be back in Vollen in the summer of 2012. The plan then is to build a “Maud” museum.

Source: NansenAmundsen.no and Vancouver Sun

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