Famous explorers ship returns home to Norway after being stuck in ice for 85 years

 Maud seen from above. Cambridge Bay, Canada. Photo: JAN WANGGAARD / MAUD RETURNS HOME

Maud seen from above. Cambridge Bay, Canada. Photo: JAN WANGGAARD / MAUD RETURNS HOME

Roald Amundsen (born July 16, 1872), was a Norwegian explorer who was the first to reach the South Pole, the first to make a ship voyage through the Northwest Passage, and one of the first to cross the Arctic by air. He was one of the greatest figures in the field of polar exploration.

With funds resulting from his Antarctic adventure, Amundsen established a successful shipping business. He acquired a new ship, the Maud, and tried in 1918 to complete an old plan of drifting across the North Pole, but he was forced to abandon this scheme in favour of trying to reach the North Pole by airplane. In a flight (1925) with the American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth he arrived to within 150 miles (250 km) of the pole. In 1926, with Ellsworth and the Italian aeronautical engineer Umberto Nobile, he passed over the North Pole in a dirigible, crossing from Spitsbergen, north of Norway, to Alaska. Disputes over the credit for the flight embittered his final years. In 1928 Amundsen lost his life in flying to rescue Nobile from a dirigible crash near Spitsbergen. 

 Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen

Polar Explorer Roald Amundsen

In a flight (1925) with the American explorer Lincoln Ellsworth he arrived to within 150 miles (250 km) of the pole. In 1926, with Ellsworth and the Italian aeronautical engineer Umberto Nobile, he passed over the North Pole in a dirigible, crossing from Spitsbergen, north of Norway, to Alaska. Disputes over the credit for the flight embittered his final years. In 1928 Amundsen lost his life in flying to rescue Nobile from a dirigible crash near Spitsbergen. 

 Photo: MAUD RETURNS HOME

Photo: MAUD RETURNS HOME

Abandoned in the ice

After the abandonment, the Maud was locked in the ice for more than two years and drifted northwest as far as the New Siberian Islands. Once released, the vessel headed eastward under its own power, but the expedition was forced to spend one more winter icebound during 1924-25.

The Maud finally returned to Nome, Alaska in August, 1925. Later the same year the ship was placed under arrest in Seattle and sold to Hudson Bay Company. 
Five years later the ship sunk in its moorings in shallow water in Cambridge Bay, Victoria Island , North Canada. 
Today 85 years later what is left from the old wreck still lies in the same place , covered by ice and snow most parts of the year. 

Save Maud

Maud Returns Home is a final initiative to bring the remains of Roald Amundsens polarship MAUD from the North West Passage, back to Oslo and Norway where she was built nearly 100 years ago.

This initiative will be a last opportunity to bring the remains of this once proud polarship back home and give it a respectable place to rest in the years to come.

A future Maud Museum in Oslo will present the remains of the ship, which will become a national treasure, well taken care of. The ship and its remarkable story will be available to the world public in a ultra modern museum that will communicate the whole story of Maud and its men, not only inside the physical walls of the museum but also through modern communication technology. A pioneer way of presenting our history inspired by the forward and creative spirit that characterized our polar heroes like Roald Amundsen. 

The project is now well under way and in august the team are preparing the tow towards Norway via Greenland and across the North Atlantic. They plan on arriving in Oslo exactly 100 years after Maud left Oslo on the 18th of July 2018.

 A lightbulb recovered from the Maud. Still intact after 85 years in the ice. Photo: JAN WANGGAARD / MAUD RETURNS HOME   

A lightbulb recovered from the Maud. Still intact after 85 years in the ice. Photo: JAN WANGGAARD / MAUD RETURNS HOME

 

Follow the expedition here.

If you are interested in helping the expedition with funding, please contact the Head of the project, Mr. Jan Wanggaard here.

Sources: Maud Returns Home, Wikipedia, Britannica

Please follow our Facebook Page for daily updates from the world of sailing!