This month, the Saab Sabertooth autonomous submersible discovered the legendary ship Endurance. The ship of famed polar explorer Ernest Shackleton had been resting in the depths of the Weddell Sea for more than 100 years.
«Endurance» translates to «endurance». And for good reason. The ship was found in perfect condition, even though it had been lying three thousand feet deep since 1915.
«We are amazed that we were lucky enough to find and photograph the ship. It's intact and in perfect condition», said one member of the expedition to find the ship. Dr. John Shears, the expedition leader, called the mission to locate the old ship «the most difficult shipwreck search in the world». Despite years in the water, even the boat's name above the symbolic polar star is still attached to the stern.
The Saab Sabertooth delivered the first images of the ship from a depth of 10,000 feet. It worked at its limits, as it is designed to dive to a depth of 9,842 feet, and it plunged to 9,869 feet. And it's not a matter of luck, it's the fact that a rugged dual-hull Sabertooth was used in the construction of the unit. Also, this Saab is capable of being underwater for six months without maintenance. It may be hard to believe, but the Saab created within the military industry is a special creation.