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Shackleton in Punta Arenas (1916)
Weekly reports from "The Magellan Times" — the news as it happened

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"The Magellan Times", 10 August 1916

The Shackleton Relief Expedition

We regret to announce that Sir Ernest Shackleton's expedition for the rescue of the men at Elephant Island has been unsuccessful owing to bad ice conditions. He arrived at Port Stanley on Friday last [4th], and was unable to make this port owing to engine troubles.

The following telegram was received from him by the British Association of Magallanes:--

4th August 1916.
To the President.
British Association, Magallanes.
« Much regret unsuccessful bad ice conditions. Force return Port Stanley. Engine broken down, could not make Punta Arenas. Have asked Admiral Lopez to send Yelcho to tow us across. Please second my request urgent that the matter be pushed through. »

to which the following telegram was sent in reply:

Ernest Shackleton,
Port Stanley.
Association deeply regrets ill luck. Your request was telegraphed Valparaiso this afternoon should have reply tomorrow afternoon, meanwhile Yelcho preparing. We shall do everything possible.
Allan Macdonald,

The following day [5th] the Chilean Government sent a telegram from Santiago authorising the Yelcho to proceed to Port Stanley to bring over the Emma, and the British Association despatched the following telegram to Sir Ernest:--

«Request granted, Yelcho should leave daylight tomorrow.»

And received this reply:

«Deeply grateful. Trust Yelcho will arrive Port Stanley promptly. She should be fully coaled and bring her wire tow rope. Please do nothing regarding suggested second expedition as Discovery is on way out.»

Although the British Community of Punta Arenas are prepared to assist Sir Ernest in another expedition if necessary, we were pleased to hear that the Discovery (Scott's old ship) was on her way to rescue these poor fellows, and we sincerely hope that she will arrive soon.

It is a long time since these men were left on Elephant Island with only a small amount of provisions, and although we all of us still have hopes of their ultimate rescue, it necessarily must be a matter of urgency.

Unfortunately, owing to the sickness of the Captain, the Yelcho was unable to get away until Monday [7th], and Sir Ernest was advised of this in the following telegram:

« Owing sickness Captain, Yelcho only sailed eleven Monday morning. »

A wireless received from Sir Ernest announces that the Yelcho arrived at Port Stanley last night [9th] and left this morning for Punta Arenas.

With ordinary luck, she would arrive here with the Emma on Saturday.

[10 August 1916]

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