A shipwreck sailed by James Cook in the South Pacific found in the United States

Sydney (AP) — Maritime experts say Thursday that they believe they have discovered one of the most important ships in Australian and South Pacific history after scuttling in the United States more than 200 years ago. rice field.

Experts said they had identified the wreckage of the British explorer James Cook’s ship HMS Endeavor in Newport Harbor, Rhode Island. Cook sailed the South Pacific on his pioneering voyage before landing on the east coast of Australia in 1770.

For 22 years, marine archaeologists have investigated several ancient shipwrecks in a two-square-mile area of ​​Newport Harbor. Endeavor was deliberately sunk by the British during the American Revolutionary War and forgotten for more than two centuries.

Kevin Samphon, CEO of the Australian National Maritime Museum, is convinced that archaeologists have found the remains of Endeavor after matching structural details and archaeological shapes to those originally planned. Said that.

“We are pleased that this is the last resting place for the most important and controversial ship in Australian maritime history,” Sampsion announced his findings at the museum.

“Before I felt I could make this call, I had to review the last piece of the puzzle. Based on archives and archaeological evidence, I’m sure it’s Endeavor.”

He said the important role of ships in exploration, astronomy and science is important not only for Australia, but also for New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States.

With only about 15% of the ship left, researchers are now focusing on what they can do to protect and preserve the ship, Mr. Sampsion said. He said the museum is working closely with Rhode Island maritime experts and with US and Australian state and federal officials to secure the site.

The ship was launched in 1764 as Earl of Pembroke. She was renamed Endeavor by the Royal Navy four years later and was ready for a major scientific voyage to the Pacific Ocean.

From 1768 to 1771, Endeavor sailed the South Pacific, apparently recording the Transit of Venus in Tahiti in 1769. Cook then continued to sail the area in search of “Great Southern Land.”

He illustrated the coastline of New Zealand. His first encounters with the indigenous Maori people ended badly, and his crew killed several Maori, but relationships have improved since then. In 2019, the British government expressed regret over the killing, but did not fully apologize.

He also illustrated Australia’s east coastline before claiming British land in 1770.

Endeavor was later sold to a private owner and renamed Lord Sandwich. It was deliberately sunk by British troops during the American Revolutionary War in 1778.

A year later, Cook was killed in Hawaii during another Pacific voyage. In 1788, a so-called 11 First Fleet carrying hundreds of prisoners arrived in Australia and established a British colony.