NEWS

Franklin ship Erebus Medals for Squamish's One Ocean Expeditions

03/11/2015 08:01 EDT | Updated 05/11/2015 05:59 EDT
Squamish, B.C. man Andrew Prossin and his One Ocean Expeditions crew have been honoured for their part in finding the wrecked Franklin expedition ship, HMS Erebus, in the Arctic last year. 

Last week, Prossin and his team were among 220 people awarded the one-time Erebus Medal by the Royal Canadian Geographical Society.

"Imagine the holy grail of your career, in 25 years, you get to take part of it. I've got to say I was just kind of electrified when I got up on the stage to receive that medal."

Two ships, HMS Erebus and HMS Terror, were part of Sir John Franklin's doomed expedition in 1845 to find the Northwest Passage from the Atlantic Ocean to Asia.

The ships disappeared after they became locked in ice in 1846 and were missing for more than a century and a half until last year's discovery of HMS Erebus by a group of public-private searchers led by Parks Canada.

Prossin and his team played an important supporting role in the expedition, crewing their ship One Ocean Voyager to pull containers full of survey equipment to the Arctic Ocean.

He vividly remembers the moment the ship was discovered.

"It was an electrifying moment, " said Prossin.

"We were near packing up and ready to return and finishing up our work — we were surveying in what was called the northern search area about 20 miles away.

"The electricity travelled about 20 miles all the way across the ice-covered water to our ship."

Prossin has a long history leading tours to the Arctic and Antartic, but said it was the highlight of his career to be part of the search team.

"I like to say we got the assist on the Stanley Cup winning goal," he said.

To hear the full interview with Andrew Prossin, click the audio labelled: Andrew Prossin honoured for role in Franklin search.

CBC Radio's The Early Edition will be live in Squamish on March 15. Join us at Chef Big D's at 38040 Cleveland Avenue from 5 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. 

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