On April 24, 1884, USS Bear departed New York Naval Shipyard as part of the Greely Relief Expedition. USS Thetis, HMS Alert, and clipper Loch Garry would soon join Bear. The Lady Franklin Bay Expedition, led by U.S. Army Lieutenant Adolphus W. Greely, was marooned in the Arctic since 1882 after initially attempting to establish a meteoroligical-observation station and to collect astronomical and magnetic data. The relief ships were under the command of Commander Winfeld S. Schley, USN. Greely and six of his exploring party were rescued on 22 June at Cape Sabine. Of note, a rescue attempt was held the previous eyar, but the relief ship Proteus was crushed by pack ice.