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Graphic shows locator map where Australian researchers believe they have found the Endeavour, and a timeline of the ship from Britain to Australia in 1768.


Row erupts over Captain Cook’s Endeavour

By Jordi Bou

February 4, 2022 - Claims over the identification of the ship in which British explorer Captain James Cook sailed to Australia in 1768 on his first voyage of discovery, have sparked a furious row between U.S. and Australian experts.

The Australian National Maritime Museum (ANMM) claims that the wreck known as RI 2394 in Newport Harbour, Rhode Island, belongs to the Endeavour. But the U.S. partners from the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project (RIMAP) say claim is “premature” and a “breach of contract”.

The Australian museum says the structural details and shape of the remains “closely match” historic plans of Endeavour and that its timber samples strongly suggested it was built in Europe and not America. But the RIMAP says that “many unanswered questions” remained.

The British-built coal ship famously landed in eastern Australia in 1770.

The Endeavour, then known as Lord Sandwich II, was sunk in 1778 with 12 other ships off Rhode Island, U.S., but no-one was sure where.

PUBLISHED: 04/02/2022; STORY: Graphic News; PICTURES: Painting by Nathaniel Dance-Holland, National Maritime Museum