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Explorer’s Club Honours FMHT Endurance22 expedition

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The internationally renowned Explorers Club, based in New York, has recognised the achievements of the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust funded and organised expedition that found Shackleton’s Endurance, with one of its most prestigious awards – The Citation of Merit.

The Endurance22 Expedition Team has been awarded the Explorers Club 2024 Citation in recognition of its “outstanding feats of exploration” in finding the wreckage of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s polar research vessel, Endurance, in the Weddell Sea on 5th March 2022.

The Citation of Merit has been given annually, since 1962, to an individual or team in recognition of outstanding feats of exploration or contributions to the welfare and objectives of the Explorers Club, which has about 3,500 members worldwide.

The Endurance22 team will be represented by Expedition Leader, John Shears, and the expedition’s Sub-Sea Manager, Nico Vincent, at the club’s 120th Annual Gala Dinner in New York City on 20th April 2024.

In announcing the honour, the Explorers Club also paid a personal tribute to John and Nico:

John Shears

“Dr John Shears has been a polar geographer and expedition leader for more than 30 years. He was the Expedition Leader of the 2019 Weddell Sea Expedition, which tried and failed to find Shackleton’s missing ship, before being appointed by the Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust to lead its 2022 search.”

“Nico Vincent is a highly experienced subsea engineer and autonomous underwater vehicle technician, who has been involved in the discovery and surveying of many significant deep-sea shipwrecks in a 30-year career.”

After helping to find the elusive Endurance, Nico called it “the most complex subsea project ever undertaken.”

111 years ago, Sir Ernest Shackleton became an honorary member of the Explorers Club, in 1912, along with his fellow pioneering polar explorers Capt Roald Amundsen, Dr Fridjof Nansen, Adm Robert Edwin Peary and Capt Robert Falcon Scott. 

Current President of the Explorers Club is Richard Garriott de Cayeux, the British-born American entrepreneur and space ‘tourist’ who has also travelled to the bottom of the Mariana Trench. The Honorary Chair is Amazon founder and businessman, Jeff Bezos, and the Honorary President is Buzz Aldrin, the 1969 Lunar Module pilot on the 1969 Apollo 11 mission who became the second man to walk on the moon after Neil Armstrong.

FMHT Chairman, Donald Lamont, says this about the honour: “This is a wonderful recognition of a great and united team effort.  Under the inspired leadership of John Shears, Mensun Bound and Nico Vincent the entire 60-strong expedition of explorers, marine archaeologists, scientists, engineers, and ice pilots found an iconic wreck that had avoided detection for nigh on 107 years. Congratulations to each and every one and a big ‘thank you’ to the Explorers Club.”

Find out more by exploring our official Endurance22 website.