Wreck found off US coast believed to be Captain Cook’s Endeavour

Long Lunch 20/09/2018
Replica of the HMS Endeavour. Photo: Reuters.

Marine archaeologists in the States may have found the remains of the ship on which Captain James Cook first charted New Zealand.

Researchers believe a wreck off the coast of Rhode Island is that of HMS Endeavour.

Kevin Sumption, director of the Australian National Maritime Museum, says the discovery is “looking very promising”.

“We’re not going to say for certain right now it is indeed the wreck of Endeavour. But we have one very, very positive site we’re currently diving on,” he told RadioLIVE’s Wendyl Nissen.

The ship was last seen in 1778, by which point it was being used as a transport vessel during the American Revolution.

The Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) has spent almost 25 years searching for the ship.

Mr Sumption says the Endeavour was one of 13 ships scuttled in Newport Harbour in 1778, in the days leading up to the Battle of Rhode Island.

“And over the last 25 years there’s been survey work on those sites to see if there is a possibility there’s evidence to be able to tell us which one of those vessels is indeed not just Endeavour, but the names of all those other vessels,” he said.

Listen to the full interview with Kevin Sumption above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.