Long lost HMS Terror finally found 170 years later

The long lost HMS Terror has been located by the Arctic Research Foundation. The ship was part of Sir John Franklin’s doomed Northwest Passage Expedition. The expedition was last spotted in July of 1846 and what happened next is shrouded in mystery and speculation. The ship has since become one of the most sought after prizes for explorers and marine archaeologists.


The HMS Terror along with the HMS Erebus embarked on Franklin’s expedition to find a way through the Northwest Passage. In 1845 the two ships sailed into the freezing waters North of Canada never to be seen again. Irishman Francis Crozier, from Banbridge Co. Down, took the helm of the HMS Terror.

It’s believed the ships got trapped in ice and shortly after Franklin and some of the other crew members died. Crozier took over control of the expedition and the entire crew of 129 men completely disappeared into the frozen wilderness.

The HMS Terror was discovered by the team at the Arctic Research Foundation on the 3rd of September in Terror Bay, on the coast of King William Island. The ship is in pristine conditions and a “perfect time capsule”. The wreck of the second ship HMS Erebus was found 2014 about 60 miles south of the site of the Terror.

Researchers were tipped to the ship’s location by an Inuit crew member, Sammy Kogvik. Kogvik informed the crew that he seen a large piece of wood that looked like a mast sticking out of Terror Bay’s sea ice on a fishing trip about six years ago.

This discovery will shred more light on the story of what happen to Franklin, Crozier and their crew.

About the Author

Ann Robinson
Has a passion for coastal heritage and maritime history. Loves sharing the best of the Irish coast online. Contact me ann@coastmonkey.ie or follow me on Twitter @AnnRobinson22