The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Launched in 1957 Edmund Fitzgerald was the biggest ship on the Great Lakes until 1972.She was named after the president of Northwest Life Insurance.She was 729 feet long but im unsure of her displacement or weight.She was operated by Columbia Shipping.Her job was to haul taconite or iron pellets from Duluth-Superior to the steel mills of the East.Her Captain was Ernest J.McSorely.She had a full crew of 29 hands.She had made many runs on the Great Lakes,even in the dangerous days of November,one of the most dangerous times on the Great Lakes,often called the Witch of November.

On November 9 1975 The Big Fitz left Superior,Wisconsin with a full load of taconite for Cleveland,Ohio.At that time the weather wasnt half bad on Lake Superior.Later on a convergence of storms over the Great Lakes made things hellish.Ninety mile per hour winds were reported at Mackinaw Bridge in St.Ignace,Michigan.Out in the middle of all this was Fitzgerald.By this time it was November 10.She was having alot of trouble when she radioed Arthur M.Anderson sailing a few miles behind.Anderson was basically looking out for Fitz.A while later Fitz reported her radar was out.He also said he may be taking on water.Around 7PM Anderson radioed McSorely.He said "We are holding our own".A few minutes later at 7:10PM Fitz diappeared from Andersons radar.

Anderson raidioed the US Coast Gaurd but the storm was too bad to search that night.The next morning all they found was an oil slick,some scattered debris,and two badly damaged but floating lifeboats that looked there was no time to use them.

A vear later the Coast Gaurd used an underwater robotic submersible to find the wreck.They found Fitz lying in 530 feet of water in Whitefish Bay,Lake Superior,north of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.On the Canadian side of the lake.She was torn in two.The bow section lying upright and the stern section lying upside down several hundred feet away and the mid-section was ripped to hell.There was massive damage to her.

All 29 hands were lost and they really have found no trace of them save some remains on a 1994 dive.Whatever happened there was no time for even a distress call.As far as what sank her it was said it was faulty hatch covers that were leaking letting in water.But there are other theories including shoaling(running aground on Manitoulin Island)and something called The Three Sisters(three abnormaly huge waves running the bow down to the bottom).

The ball was removed in 2007 and replaced with a brand-new one.The bell now sits in The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point,Michigan.It is said the bell is the soul of a ship.As soon as they got the bell to the surface it rang out.

As soon as that dive was over it was decided that there will no more dives on the wreck as it is a gravesite.

irishknight1973 irishknight1973
41-45, M
2 Responses Feb 18, 2009

hey thanks for the info it was very good!

And this is the reason for the famous song by Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot in 1976 titled The Wreck of the Edmumd Fitzgerald.