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The bow of the Endurance

A tale of Endurance against the odds

The BBC recently visited Lloyd’s to discover more about our links with the historic wreck of the Endurance, a ship which lies at the heart of a story of phenomenal bravery and survival against all the odds

Find out more about our part in this inspiring story.

More than a hundred years ago, in the afternoon of the 21 November 1915, after months trapped in the pack ice, the famous ship Endurance sank beneath the blue-grey waters of the Weddell Sea off the coast of Antarctica. 

The crew of the ship, led by British-Irish legend Sir Ernest Shackleton, escaped to South Georgia more than 800 miles away across the terrifying waters of the South Atlantic aboard open boats.

With all eventually returning to England alive, this was a feat of endurance that stands the test of time. 

Yet for more than a century the ship remained lost in the icy dark of the most inhospitable environment on earth - until the magnificently preserved remains were found almost 10,000 feet below the icy main in March 2022. 

The Endurance

One of the last photos of Endurance before she sank

The BBC investigates

A year on from the ship's rediscovery, the BBC visited Lloyd's to discover more about the story and how the loss of the vessel was recorded in London.

The Endurance was insured by us, as was the vessel used in the hazardous expedition to discover its final resting place. 

Finally and perhaps more morbidly, the loss of the ship was recorded in our famous Casualty Book which has been used to record the loss of vessels insured by the Lloyd's market since 1774 - almost 250 years.

Lloyd's waiter Zsofia Korodi records a lost vessel in the Casualty Book

Lloyd's waiter Zsofia Korodi records a lost vessel in the Casualty Book

Watch the report

The BBC featured this story on BBC Breakfast.

Watch from 1 hour 21 minutes.

Our past

From its beginnings in a coffee house in 1688, Lloyd’s has been a pioneer in insurance and has grown over 330 years to become the world’s leading market for specialist insurance.

Jack Petch - Senior Media Manager, Lloyd's

07 Mar 2023