The Arctic Quest 1832 team standing in a row beside their discovery: rusted engine parts from The Victory
The Arctc Quest 1832 team sitting in one of their inflatable boats, their orange high-viz lifejackets contrasting with the grey water

06:55hrs on Saturday the 4 September 2004. Gatwick Airport the Royal Navy, Royal Marines ‘Arctic Quest 1832’ Expedition will return from the Arctic.

A Royal Navy, Royal Marines expedition, lead by veteran Arctic Explorer Dom Mee is due to return to the United Kingdom on Saturday.

The team of seven, consisting of five Royal Marines, an historian and a member of the Royal Naval Reserve left UK late July, and will finally conclude their adventure with their arrival at in London at Gatwick Airport.

Each team member was chosen for his/her specialist skills in surviving the harshest of environments all of which proved vital in the team’s execution of this successful Expedition.

Exercise Arctic Quest 1832 is believed to be the first British expedition to reach this area for over 172 years. It’s purpose was to successfully highlight the epic tale of a true Polar hero. The Royal Navy’s Sir John Ross, a Victorian explorer who, with his crew, became trapped in the region in 1829 while searching for the fabled North West Passage.

The hardy group endured three harsh Arctic winters on the Gulf of Boothia. Sir John and his crew abandoned their ice bound ship in 1832 and headed on foot towards Baffin Bay. Because of relentless sub zero temperatures, they were forced to spend a further winter in the ice. Sir John and his crew were finally rescued a year later. This is a story of incredible bravery and heroic deeds played out in one of the earth’s most hostile regions.

Today’s Arctic Quest 1832 Expedition exceeded Dom and the team’s primary goals actually visiting the Arctic harbours where Sir John Ross wintered – including Thom Bay, Sheriffs Harbor and Felix harbor. Dom and his team also made the exciting discovery of many artifacts relating to Sir John Ross and his crew, which they have photographed and catalogued their findings, which have lain abandon to an icy grave for hundreds of years, will feature in the post expedition report which is due in October/ November 2004.

Dom Mee returned to this region after a grueling two months paddling through ice alone in 2003. Recently with an unrivalled passion and complete dedication to further remind us of the Ross endeavors, Dom said:

“Sir John was a great leader, together he and his crew survived against all the odds. My team and I can only marvel at their courage. To have had this brief insight into historic times, the courage and bravery of great men often forgotten or at the very least not realised has been a great privilege.”