The Search for HMS Terror Continues

Government of Canada announces plans for Mission Erebus and Terror 2016

2016 Franklin Web Banner - 580 x 260 EN - 2016-07-22Gatineau, Quebec – The Government of Canada is continuing the search for HMS Terror and will be checking in on the wreck of HMS Erebus later this summer. Mission Erebus andTerror 2016 is expected to begin at the end of August and will conclude in mid-September and will build on the success of previous missions and the collaboration with the Government of Nunavut, Inuit communities and other public, private and non-profit partners.

Ci0xYlFXIAAHKx6This year’s expedition will have several components:

  • Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team will be diving on HMS Erebus to document any changes to the wreck since their last visit to the site in the summer of 2015.
  • The search for HMS Terror, the second ship of the ill-fated 1845 Franklin Expedition, will continue in the waters off Nunavut. The Canadian Coast Guard’s CCGS Sir Wilfrid Laurier, the Royal Canadian Navy’s HMCS Shawinigan (with personnel and survey equipment provided by the Canadian Hydrographic Service), and the Arctic Research Foundation’s Research Vessel Martin Bergmann will spend approximately nine days with Parks Canada’s Underwater Archaeology Team, in the continued search for the missing Franklin ship.
  • Members of the Franklin Interim Advisory Committee, who advise Parks Canada on the management of The Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site, will be visiting the location of HMS Erebus during this years’ expedition.
  • Parks Canada team members will also visit several northern communities to share information about Mission Erebus and Terror 2016 and their on-going research in the region. Parks Canada continues to collaborate with Northern and Inuit communities to develop and implement economic development and tourism initiatives in the Arctic.


Given the limited operational window for Mission Erebus and Terror 2016, there will be no media participation this year. However, Parks Canada will be launching an open and transparent Expression of Interest for media to participate in the next mission during the 150th anniversary of Confederation in 2017. 


“Our national historic sites tell the stories of who we are, including the history, cultures and contributions of Indigenous Peoples. Mission Erebus and Terror 2016 offers a unique opportunity for historical exploration and to further the deep connections of northern communities with the story of the Franklin Expedition. I wish all those involved in this years’ Mission a safe voyage and I look forward to more exciting discoveries in the years to come.”

The Honourable Catherine McKenna
Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada 

“Mission Erebus and Terror 2016 showcases the high level of interoperability and cooperation the Royal Canadian Navy has with intergovernmental partners. The RCN continues to expand its ability in conducting Northern operations as we prepare for the arrival of our new Arctic Offshore Patrol Ships and Parks Canada gains the use of our capabilities and skills to aid in connecting Canadians with Canada’s Arctic heritage.”

The Honourable Harjit S. Sajjan
Minister of Defence

“The search for the HMS Terror provides a great opportunity to explore and better understand the ocean and the seabed in Canada’s Arctic. The Department of Fisheries and Ocean’s Canadian Hydrographic Service (CHS) and the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG) are proud to remain an integral part in the search for the lost Franklin ship, while conducting key operational activities along our coastline. This year’s expedition will once again offer an opportunity to advance hydrographic surveying efforts to update paper and electronic navigational charts in the Arctic.”

The Honourable Dominic LeBlanc
Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard 

Cn--3GAWAAAMYd-Quick Facts

  • In March 2016 the Minister of Environment and Climate Change and Minister responsible for Parks Canada, Catherine McKenna announced $16.9 million over five years to support the ongoing investigation of HMS Erebus and the continuing search for HMS Terror, and for the development of multi-purpose infrastructure.  The funding will contribute to economic development in the Kitikmeot region and create employment opportunities in Inuit communities.
  • The Franklin Interim Advisory Committee members are: the Kitikmeot Inuit Association (co-chair), community representatives from Cambridge Bay and Gjoa Haven, Inuit Heritage Trust, the Government of Nunavut, Nunavut Tourism and Parks Canada.
  • In 1992, the wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror were designated as a national historic site under the Historic Sites and Monuments Act, despite neither shipwreck having been found at that time. HMS Erebus was discovered in the waters of Nunavut in 2014.
  • Parks Canada and the Kitikmeot Inuit Association will cooperatively-manage the Wrecks of HMS Erebus and HMS Terror National Historic Site.  It will be the first national historic site cooperatively-managed in Nunavut.


Source: Parks Canada Agency