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Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour May Have Been Found off Rhode Island Coast

21 September 2018

Captain Cook used the vessel on a voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand in 1770 and it was later used by the British navy in the American War of Independence before it was scuttled off Newport, Rhode Island, in 1778.

The breakthrough, which could solve one of the greatest maritime mysteries, is the culmination of a 25-year hunt for the vessel off Newport, Rhode Island.

HMS Endeavour, Captain James Cook's old boat that he famously used to discover a few places that already existed, has apparently been found after spending almost 250 years lost at the bottom of the sea. The Royal Navy spent weeks refitting the ship and soon renamed it the HMB Endeavour, a moniker suitable for its epic journey to come.

"This is a vessel that is significant to people around the world".

Endeavour replica towed into Whitby
Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour May Have Been Found off Rhode Island Coast

While the potential discovery of the Endeavour comes at a historically significant time for Australia, 250 years after Cook's voyage has also seen the explorer undergo a reassessment in the country he is considered a founder of.

For weeks, Cook and the Endeavour made their way slowly toward the Pacific, pushing south and west until they had cleared Cape Horn, at the southernmost tip of South America.

- A replica of Endeavour was launched in 1994 and is now berthed at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney's Darling Harbour.

Researchers in Rhode Island believe they found the wreckage site of Capt. In 1999, the group first established that the Lord Sandwich transport had been used as a prison ship in Newport Harbor, and had been Captain Cook's bark Endeavour, used in his first circumnavigation of the world. The researchers think the final resting place of the ship is located off the coast of Goat Island in Narragansett Bay, but to be absolutely certain, they'll have to excavate the remains of the ship and examine its timbers.

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According to the RIMAP website , the location of the wreck has been narrowed to 'possibly to one or two archaeological sites.' There has also been some preliminary surveying of the site where Cook's ship is believed to rest by dive teams.

"It is exciting, we are closing in", RIMAP director Kathy Abbass said. When France sided with the revolutionaries, the Admiralty ordered it sunk in shallow waters along with 12 other transport ships to act as a blockade.

The Endeavour has arguably never been forgotten, however.

One of two full-sized replicas of HMS Endeavour is towed into Whitby Harbor in the north of England-where Captain Cook began his voyage to Australia-on June 1, 2018.

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A replica of the Endeavor in Cooktown, Australia.

Still, nothing is a substitute for the real thing. It's always been known that the Endeavour came to rest off the coast of Rhode Island; the New York Times reports the ship was used by the British during the Revolutionary War and then sunk as a means of thwarting French ships coming to assist the Americans.

But marine archaeologists said this week that after a search that spanned decades, the remains of the Endeavour, however decrepit, may have been located.

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Captain Cook’s HMS Endeavour May Have Been Found off Rhode Island Coast