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Captain James Cook’s ship Endeavour may have been found off US coast after a centuries-long search

1:28 pm, 19th September 2018

Captain Cook used the vessel on a voyage of discovery to Australia and New Zealand in 1770 and it was later used by the British navy in the American War of Independence before it was scuttled off Newport, Rhode Island, in 1778.

The ship’s final resting place has eluded archeologists ever since, but now a team of Australian researchers believe they have pinpointed the vessel in Newport Harbour.

Kevin Sumption, head of the Australian National Maritime Museum, said: “Early indications are that the team has narrowed the possible site for the wreck of HMB Endeavour to one site, which is very promising.

“A lot more detailed work, analysis and research has to happen before we can definitively say we have found the remains of James Cook’s HMB Endeavour.”

The Endeavour entered popular folklore because Captain Cook’s voyages brought the British into contact with New Zealand and eastern Australia, foreshadowing the colonisation of the continent.

A replica of the ship sits in Sydney’s Darling Harbour as a reminder of a pivotal point in the history of modern Australia.

The ship was renamed the Lord Sandwich 2 and later used by the British to imprison Americans captured during the War of Independence.

Captain Cook left Plymouth in August 1768, and in April 1770 the Endeavour became the first European ship to reach the east coast of Australia when Cook arrived at what is now known as Botany Bay.

It was scuttled with 12 other vessels in Newport Harbour during the American War of Independence in 1778, but the remains have never been found – despite a series of search expeditions.

This year marks the 250th anniversary of Cook’s departure from England in the Endeavour, and 2020 is the anniversary of Cook’s claim of Australia for Britain.