SHACKLETON NEWS ARCHIVE
The extraordinary story of Captain Carl Anton Larsen, mentioned above, serves as an almost prophetic forerunner of the marooning of Shackleton and his his men aboard Endurance and on the ice in 1915. Having conducted his own Antarctic expeditions in 1992-3 and 1893-4 aboard the Jason, locating the first known Antartic fossils on Seymour Island, Carl Anton Larsen in an attempt to relieve Nils Otto Nordenskjöld and his Swedish party, which had been wintering since 1901 at Snow Hill (Cerro Nevado) Island, found his ship crushed in the icepack : the Antarctic duly sank on 12 February 1903, at 12:45 pm.
Owing to Larsen's exceptional skill in this crisis, all his men survived this disaster and were able to bring basic food, fuel and equipment onto the icepack. After 16 days on the ice they took boat in freezing waters and reached the isolated and uninhabited Paulet Island. There they built a stone hut and survived in blizzards during the Antarctic winter, slaughtering penguins and seals for food and fuel.
When the Argentine Government of President Julio A. Roca despatched the corvette Uruguay under Capitán Julián Irízar on 8 October 1903 - the President seeing them off in person - to rescue Nordenskjöld's wintering party at Snow Hill, Captain Larsen with five of his marooned crew had managed to row 180 km (112m) in ice-infested waters from Paulet Island to Hope Bay and then continued to reach Snow Hill Island on 8 November - the very day the Uruguay was about to leave, due to persistent severe ice conditions. The rescued expedition returned safely to Argentina on 2 Dec.1903.
The parallels with not just Shackleton's return to the Nimrod after his Furthest South (1909), but with what subsequently befel Endurance, were not lost on the British Explorer, who was on friendly terms with and knew Larsen well, and was well aware of the Paulet Island escapade.
Ironically, the modern Argentinian ship Almirante Irízar is precisely the boat which has recently given trouble, as reported on the Falkland Islands Government website, in its attempts, purportedly, to "police" Falkland Islands fishing.