The vessel was used by Cook on his first voyage of discovery across the Pacific Ocean between 1768 and 1771, resulting in the first British encounter with the “unknown land of the south” – Australia.
This is an important moment. Arguably one of the most important ships in our maritime history, said the Museum’s executive chairman, Kevin Sumption.
His announcement came after a 22-year investigation of several 18th-century ships in a two-square-mile area off the U.S. coast.
According to the source, the famous vessel lay just 500 meters off the Rhode Island coast, where it was “buried in nearly 250 years of sediment and silt,” 14 meters below the surface.
However, shortly after the announcement, the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project called it “premature” and a “breach of contract.”
The U.S. entity’s executive director, the Kathy Abbass, responded to the Australians’ assertion and added that hers was the lead organization on the study.
There are many unanswered questions that could invalidate such identification (of the wreck), the specialist commented to the Guardian Australia newspaper.
The Endeavour was deliberately sunk in 1778 in Newport Harbour by British forces some eight years after its key role in Cook’s first voyage to the Pacific.
After sailing through oceans that were largely unknown to Europeans at the time, the vessel was largely forgotten.