HMS Assistance (1850)
HMS Assistance in the Ice, by Thomas Sewell Robins, 1853
|Fate:||Sold to the Royal Navy in 1850|
|Fate:||Abandoned in the ice on 25 August 1854|
|Tons burthen:||423 BM|
117 ft 4 in (35.8 m) (o/a) |
98 ft 6 in (30.0 m) (keel)
|Beam:||28 ft 5 in (8.7 m)|
|Depth of hold:||13 ft 7 in (4.14 m)|
|Sail plan:||Barque rigged|
HMS Assistance was an Arctic discovery barque of the Royal Navy, and the sixth vessel to carry the name. She began her life in 1835 as an Indian-built merchant vessel, was purchased in 1850 and participated in two Arctic expeditions before being abandoned in the ice in 1854.
She joined Horatio Thomas Austin's 1850 attempt to find Sir John Franklin's lost expedition. Austin commanded Resolute, while Captain Erasmus Ommanney commanded Assistance. In the summer of 1850, Assistance anchored at Cape York and took on an Inuit guide by the name of Qalasirssuaq. Despite extensive search, the expedition failed to find conclusive evidence of the fate of Franklin and his men, and returned to Britain in 1851. They took their Inuit guide with them and he settled in England where he took the name Erasmus Augustine Kallihirua.
The Navy retained Assistance for future Arctic service, and in 1852 she sailed with Edward Belcher's expedition. She became trapped in ice off Bathurst Island and was eventually abandoned there together with her steam tender Pioneer on 25 August 1854.
- Colledge, J. J.; Warlow, Ben (2006) . Ships of the Royal Navy: the complete record of all fighting ships of the Royal Navy (Rev. ed.). London: Chatham. ISBN 9781861762818. OCLC 67375475.