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Sir Ernest Shackleton's Imperial Trans-Antarctic Expedition of 1914 established a goal which no explorer had yet completed: a crossing of the continent from Atlantic to Pacific Oceans. Shackleton's audacious plan was to take two ships, Endurance and the Aurora, with one distributing supplies at various stops while Shackleton's men made the 1800 mile trek across Antarctica. However, Shackleton's ship, Endurance, became frozen in the ice, and the men were forced to wait for a spring thaw in order to continue. However, Endurance eventually took on water and sank, leaving Shackleton's party to survive on an ice floe with minimal supplies. The rest of the journey became an incredible ordeal of survival against the elements and, incredibly, Shackleton's own group was eventually rescued without the loss of a single man. (Three men died on the Aurora, however, including the ship's captain.) The expedition's crew was finally rescued in August 1916--nearly two years after it began.
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