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Canadian PM says British explorer ship lost nearly 170 years ago is HMS Erebus

  • FILE - In this file image released by Parks Canada, shows a side-scan sonar image of a ship on the sea floor in northern Canada. Sir John Franklin was likely sailing on the HMS Erebus vessel when it vanished along with another vessel 170 years ago, Canada's prime minister announced Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Parks Canada, via The Canadian Press, File)

    FILE - In this file image released by Parks Canada, shows a side-scan sonar image of a ship on the sea floor in northern Canada. Sir John Franklin was likely sailing on the HMS Erebus vessel when it vanished along with another vessel 170 years ago, Canada's prime minister announced Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/Parks Canada, via The Canadian Press, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2014, file photo, John Geiger, president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, holds an iron fitting from a Royal Navy ship, identified as a davit in Ottawa, Ontario. Sir John Franklin was likely sailing on the vessel when it vanished along with another vessel 170 years ago, Canada's prime minister announced Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick, File)

    FILE - In this Sept. 9, 2014, file photo, John Geiger, president of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society, holds an iron fitting from a Royal Navy ship, identified as a davit in Ottawa, Ontario. Sir John Franklin was likely sailing on the vessel when it vanished along with another vessel 170 years ago, Canada's prime minister announced Wednesday, Oct. 1, 2014. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Sean Kilpatrick, File)  (The Associated Press)

Canada's prime minister says the shipwreck uncovered last month in the Artic was the HMS Erebus which vanished 170 years ago.

Explorers believed the wreck belonged to either the HMS Erebus and the HMS Terror both of which sailed under the command of British Rear Adm. Sir John Franklin on an unsuccessful search for the Northwest Passage

The well-preserved wreck of one of the vessels was found last month 11 meters (12 yards) below the surface, near King William Island.

Stephen Harper said experts have identified the wreck as the HMS Erebrus, which Franklin was believed to have been aboard.

Last seen in the 1840s, the two ships have long been among the most sought-after prizes in marine archaeology and the subject of songs, poems and novels.