SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SHEILA TERRY / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Barents ship trapped in the Arctic ice 1596-7. For three consecutive years, 1594-1596, the Dutch navigator Willem Barents (c 1550-1597) explored the waters north and northeast of Norway, later called the Barents Sea, with merchant ships and warships carrying geographers, merchants and soldiers.The intention was to find a seaway that provided access to Asian markets avoiding the Spanish and Portuguese harbours and patrols. Following the failure of the first two expeditions, two ships under the command of Barents set off in May 1596. On this third voyage, he sighted Bear Island and the northwest coast of Spitsbergen, which he mistook for Greenland He rounded the northernmost point of the Novaya Zemlya but his ship became trapped in moving ice. Barents and his 15 companions were stranded overwinter.Twelve crewmen returned the following November but Barents died at sea in June 1597.
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