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Capt Cook's lost Endeavour 'discovered' after 240 years.

Byline: CHRISTOPHER BUCKTIN US Editor

HISTORIANS believe they may have found the ship Captain James Cook was sailing when he discovered Australia.

HMS Endeavour, one of Britain's most celebrated vessels, has been lost for around 240 years.

Bosses at the Rhode Island Marine Archaeology Project say they are "80 to 100% certain" they have located the remains of the Endeavour on the ocean floor off the north east coast of the US.

The last sighting of the magnificent ship is believed to have been in 1778 after it is understood to have been sold, renamed Lord Sandwich and then used to transport British soldiers during the American Revolution.

RIMAP said in a statement: "We have mapped nine archaeological sites of the 13 ships that were scuttled in Newport Harbour in 1778 during the American Revolution.

"One group of five ships included the Lord Sandwich transport, formerly Captain James Cook's Endeavour. All of the 13 ships lost in Newport... are important to American history, but it will be a national celebration in Australia when RIMAP identifies the Endeavour."

The team plans to release more details tomorrow including scans.

Their discovery off the city of Newport in Rhode Island comes 18 years after a RIMAP scientist found documents in an archive that hinted the Endeavour had been sunk there after being renamed.

In 2014 the Australian National Maritime Museum funded RIMAP to investigate the theory further. They now hope to raise some of the wreckage to put on public display.

The ship was launched in Whitby in 1764 and first used as a coalcarrying vessel called the Earl of Pembroke. Fours years later it was bought by the Royal Navy for a scientific mission to the Pacific Ocean. Renamed, Endeavour set sail from Plymouth in 1768 as Captain Cook began a three-year voyage of discovery. The ship became the first European vessel in 127 years to reach New Zealand. In 1770 she reached the east coast of Australia, landing on what became named Botany Bay.

Some relics of the ship are on display at the National Maritime Museum in Greenwich, South East London. Several replicas of Endeavour have been built, including two full-size ones.

Cook, born in the village of Marton, now part of Middlesbrough, joined the Royal Navy in 1755 and saw action in the Seven Years' War. His feats as an explorer became legendary but his trip to Hawaii in 1779 cost him his life.

Cook, 50, was in dispute with locals when he was stabbed to death trying to kidnap their king for a ransom.

chris.bucktin@mirror.co.uk NAME: Endeavour OPERATOR: Royal Navy BUILDER: Thomas Fishburn, Whitby LAUNCHED: June 1764 ACQUIRED: 28 March 1768 as Earl of Pembroke COST: PS2,840. 10s HOME PORT: Plymouth, United Kingdom FATE: Scuttled, Newport, 1778 CLASS AND TYPE: Bark LENGTH: 97 ft 8 in (29.77m) BEAM: 29 ft 2 in (8.89 m) FULL RIGGED SHIP 3,321 square yards (2,777m2) of sail SPEED: 7 to 8 knots (13 to 15 km/h) maximum COMPLEMENT: 94, comprising: 71 ship's company, 12 marines, 11 civilians

CAPTION(S):

EXPLORER Captain Cook

SAIL & HEARTY A full-size replica of Endeavour

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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:May 3, 2016
Words:527
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