Pourquoi pas was a three-masted boat
Type: Oceanographic Ship
Shipyard: French shipyard Gautier Saint-Malo HISTORY
Pourquoi Pas IV was the fourth ship built for Jean-Baptiste Charcot. She completed the second Charcot expedition of the Antarctic regions from 1908 to 1910. Charcot died aboard when she was wrecked on 16 September 1936, off the coast of Iceland. Of the forty men on board, only one survived.
In 1907, Jean-Baptiste Charcot launched a new Antarctic expedition and began work on a new ship, Pourquoi-Pas IV, a three-masted barque designed for polar exploration, equipped with a motor and containing three laboratories and a library. It was built at Saint-Malo to plans by Francois Gautier, in his shipyard.
From 1908 to 1910, Charcot set out in Pourquoi-Pas IV, wintering at Peterman Island, on his second polar expedition. He returned to France in 1910 laden with scientific discoveries – he had finished the mapping of Alexander Island and discovered a new island, Charcot Land.
In September 1936, returning from the mission to Greenland to deliver scientific material to Victor’s mission (which had just traversed the ice sheets in 50 days) and after carrying out a survey mission, Pourquoi-Pas IV stopped at Reykjavík to re-provision with fuel on 13 September. They set out for Saint-Malo two days later, on 15 September, but on 16 September the ship was caught in a violent cyclonic storm and lost on the reefs of Álftanes at Mýrar. 23 of the crew were lost in the wreck and 17 survivors died before rescue came, leaving only one survivor, Eugène Gonidec, master steersman. Jean-Baptiste Charcot was one of the dead, aged 69. Pourquoi Pas Point and Pourquoi Pas Island were later named after it.
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