In February 2022, a major international scientific expedition explored one of the coldest, harshest and most remote locations in the world, in a quest to find the Endurance. Using underwater robots, helicopters and other state-of-the-art technology, the Endurance22 expedition was the first to locate and survey Sir Ernest Shackleton’s lost ship which sank in the Weddell Sea in Antarctica in 1915.
Organised by The Falklands Maritime Heritage Trust (FMHT), the Endurance22 expedition brought together world-leading marine archaeologists, engineers, technicians, and sea-ice scientists on S.A. Agulhas II, one of the largest and most modern polar research vessels in the world.
History Hit, the SVOD and content platform co-founded by historian Dan Snow, and award-winning digital content agency and media network Little Dot Studios partnered exclusively with FMHT to film and document one of the last great lost shipwrecks of history – Sir Ernest Shackleton’s Endurance.
How did we help?
BDB Pitmans have been FMHT’s long-term trusted advisor for the last 9 years and we were delighted to advise FMHT on this expedition. Our full service offering has enabled us to act as FMHT’s sole legal counsel for advising the Chairman and Board of Trustees in relation to this expedition.
Through our cross-departmental collaboration, our Charities, Commercial and Employment teams ensured that FMHT received all required legal assistance efficiently and in a time sensitive manner.
As anticipated, the expedition had a number of ‘moving pieces’ which needed to be carefully aligned to ensure that the expedition could depart and be concluded according to FMHT’s schedule. We were instrumental in assisting with numerous contract negations across a multitude of jurisdictions; some examples were, the Charterparty Agreement with the South African Government, the Helicopter Leasing arrangement with South African and American companies and the Film Production Agreement.
The COVID-19 pandemic created a large amount of uncertainty and difficulties for FMHT and the expedition. Particular concerns arose as a result of the rise of the Omicron variant and its possible impact on COVID-19 regulations and quarantine arrangements around the world.
The health and safety of the participants on board the expedition was of paramount importance to FMHT and BDB Pitmans was tasked with ensuring that adequate COVID-19 protocols were designed and implemented within all the appropriate contractual arrangements, whilst ensuring that FMHT remain unexposed to the possibility of future claims.