Of course the ships were empy when they sank. The men had straggled off in groups, to die of any number of causes: lead poisoning, exposure, scurvy, exhaustion.
They never found what they were sent to look for. They never came home. But they are not forgotten.
Franklin bridged the Age of Sail with the age of actic exploration. He had been a signal midshipman on Bellorephon during Traflagar.
Anyway, here is the link: