Sir John Franklin hoped to navigate through the so-called Northwest Passage in the Arctic. But near King William Island both ships became trapped in ice. The crew waited two and a half years for the ice to thaw but that did not happen. So in April 1848 they decided to abandon the ships and were not heard from again. No single man made it back home to England. It is assumed that they died from disease, food poisoning and starvation. From relics found by search expeditions later it was concluded that the last survivors eventually resorted to cannibalism.