A look inside an ancient northern shipwreck

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 3:10 PM ET

The Canadian Armed Forces and Parks Canada teamed up to capture stunning new underwater images of Canada's most northerly shipwreck, which dates back to the mid-19th century.

The Breadalbane, a three-masted merchant ship, became trapped in packed ice in 1853 in the Barrow Strait near Beechey Island, Nunavut, while supplying ships involved in the search for Captain John Franklin's lost expedition.

The wreck has been declared a national historic site.



Fleet Diving Unit Clearance Diver Leading Seaman Charle Vaillancourt is red diver tender, LS Danny Morin, Port Inspection Diver LS Evan Gilbert is yellow diver tender for Cbt Diver from 2nd Division 5 (CER) Combat Engineer Regiment, CFB Valcartier - MCpl Zachary Lafrance and Standby diver is Clr Dvr Mark Anderson during the day's ice diving operations at the DRDC Gascoyne Inlet Camp, Nunavut. The Canadian Forces have captured new footage of the sunken merchant ship Breadalbane, near Resolute Bay. DND/QMI Agency)

Click here to see photos inside the ancient northern shipwreck


Naval divers with Operation Nunalivut, an annual military operation in the Arctic, joined forces with Parks Canada's underwater archaeology service and SeaBotix Inc. to capture the footage.

"Six days of diving with remotely operated vehicles this year have given us an up-to-date view of an incredible wreck that preserves a moment of time in Canadian history," Jonathan Moore, senior underwater archaeologist with Parks Canada, said in a press release.

"We've learned a huge amount...it's rare to have such a detailed view of a shipwreck from 1853."


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