Miawpukek Horizon Congratulates the Royal Canadian Geographic Society on the Discovery of Historic Shipwreck

 June 12, 2024 (Conne River, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada) – Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services LTD. (“Miawpukek Horizon” or “MHMS”), a leader in maritime exploration and Indigenous reconciliation, proudly congratulates their client the Royal Canadian Geographic Society (“RCGS”) on the remarkable discovery of Sir Ernest Shackleton’s last ship – Quest.

Sonar imaging of sunken vessel Quest

In October 2023, MHMS and RCGS signed a memorandum of understanding for the exploration of marine areas of national and historical interest while also advancing reconciliation in Canada. As part of the project, Miawpukek Horizon managed the marine and survey services to support the mission to locate Quest, a schooner-rigged steamship that sailed from 1917 until sinking in 1962 and was best known as the polar exploration vessel of the Shackleton-Rowett Expedition of 1921-1922.

The expedition to find Quest off the South Coast of Labrador began on June 5, 2024, and successfully concluded with the vessel’s discovery on June 9. The discovery was made possible through the coordinated efforts and expertise of Miawpukek Horizon who contracted Fisheries and Marine Institute of Memorial University to provide critical survey services, and LeeWay Marine who provided the vessel, LeeWay Odyssey, to conduct this important mission. Equipped with sonar and underwater imaging technology, LeeWay Odyssey and the crew onboard played a crucial role in locating the shipwreck, which has been lost for over 60 years.

This extraordinary achievement marks a significant milestone in the world of maritime archaeology and showcases the importance of collaboration and advanced technology in uncovering the mysteries of our oceans.

“Congratulations to the Royal Canadian Geographic Society on this significant historical discovery,” said Chief Brad Benoit, Board Member, Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services. “We are thrilled to have been a part of this incredible journey. By collaborating with industry expertise, we are demonstrating to our youth how we can transform the narrative and practices of exploration within the framework of reconciliation. I also extend my gratitude to our contractors and partners at the Marine Institute and LeeWay Marine for their exceptional performance and commitment to Indigenous inclusion in all facets of the Blue Economy. The successful discovery of Quest is a testament to the hard work, dedication, and innovative spirit of everyone involved in this outstanding accomplishment.”

Traditional Chief Mi’sel Joe of Miawpukek First Nation was scheduled to participate in the expedition with the Miawpukek Horizon team.

Quest sank in the waters off of Mi’kmaq, Innu and Inuit territories in 1962, while on a sealing expedition. I am so happy that Quest was found, but sad due to health reasons I couldn’t be on the ship when it was found,” said Chief Joe. “I was happy to share local knowledge with the captain and crew of the search vessel ahead of time to find Quest and I was honoured that Miawpukek Horizon assisted in planning the expedition. Thanks to all that participated in the search. Job well done. The words that come to mind are NEVER SAY NEVER. Having our presence and involvement in this expedition demonstrates the respect that RCGS has for our peoples and our territories.”

The Royal Canadian Geographic Society mission to locate Quest is the first of four important projects that Miawpukek Horizon has developed under its June Indigenous-Led Expedition program. Following this expedition, the Polar Prince will embark on an expedition through the South Coast Fjords, followed by science and research missions to Bay d’Espoir and Funk Island, which will include the participation of more than 30 youth and feature a community event in Conne River on June 14.


About Miawpukek Horizon

Born from the vibrant traditions of the Miawpukek First Nation, Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services Ltd. stands as a shining emblem of unity. Miawpukek Horizon is an Indigenous owned marine services company, established in 2020, that emerged from Horizon Maritime’s recruitment and development of First Nations seafarers, making Miawpukek Horizon a champion of barrier-free recruitment. By integrating Indigenous knowledge and prioritizing sustainability and innovation within our workforce and operations, we are shaping a new era in maritime services.

About Royal Canadian Geographic Society

Founded in 1929, The Royal Canadian Geographical Society has been making Canada better known to Canadians and to the world for 90 years. Best known for its Canadian Geographic magazine, the Society also supports Canadian geographical expeditions and provides grants and scholarships for cutting-edge

geographical research. The Society’s vision is to help Canadians chart a successful future by fostering a greater understanding of Canada’s geography — its diverse human and physical landscapes — as well as the changes affecting its people and the environment.

About LeeWay Marine

LeeWay Marine is a Dartmouth, Nova Scotia-based ship owner and operator, providing at-sea data acquisition services to their clients. Technologically forward-leaning, they are thought leaders in the maritime industry, and lead the Royal Canadian Navy’s effort to test and evaluate novel maritime technology at sea. See: https://leewaymarine.ca

Fisheries & Marine Institute of Memorial University

As a campus of Memorial University, The Marine Institute is one of the world’s most respected centres for marine education and applied research. The Marine Institute provides more than 30 industry-driven programs ranging from technical certificates to PhDs. In addition to undergraduate and graduate degrees, the Institute

offers advanced diplomas, diplomas of technology and technical certificates. The Institute has three Schools – the School of Fisheries, the School of Maritime Studies, and the School of Ocean Technology – and within these Schools a number of specialized centres and units, including its Centre for Applied Ocean Technology. These centres and units lead the Institute, both nationally and internationally, in applied research and technology transfer and in the provision of training to a variety of industry clients.

More about Quest:

The Shackleton Rowett Expedition of 1922 on board Quest is acknowledged to be the final chapter in the so- called Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration (1880-1922) which saw polar titans Shackleton, Scott and Amundsen lead pioneering expeditions to the frozen continent in the name of science and discovery. The death of Shackleton on January 5, 1922, is often cited by historians as the dividing line between the “Heroic” and “Mechanical” ages of exploration. Quest was originally built in Risør, Norway in 1917 as the wooden-hulled sealer Foca I. She was renamed Quest by Lady Emily Shackleton. Finding Quest, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s final ship, is a major discovery in maritime history.

For further information:

Megan Murphy, Business Development Manager Miawpukek Horizon Maritime Services

(709) 693-1842

[email protected]


Rosemary Thompson, VP Communications and Marketing,

Royal Canadian Geographical Society (613) 240-6739

[email protected]

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