November 10 1975 The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald On Lake Superior
You know I don't think any of us, myself included, give much thought to what it takes to make the everyday things of our lives. Not only do we use raw materials from the earth but some soul had to mine or harvest them, ship them, process them, turn into the finished product, ship that product and sell it to us. Anywhere along the way this can become dangerous, even deadly. I remember as a youth calling on the steel mills in Pittsburgh and Youngstown with my dad on those special father takes kids to work days. Even at that tender age it impressed me how dangerous work can be. Injury and even deaths were not uncommon even with modern safety regulations in place on modern equipment.
Such is the case with the Great Lakes ore freighter S.S.Edmund Fitzgerald. On November 10 1975 the "Big Fitz" as they called her departed the Burlington Northern Railroad Dock Number 1 on Lake Superior loaded with taconite and bound for the steel industries of Detroit and Cleveland. That taonite would have been used to make our cars, refrigerators, sheet steel, structual steel, etc... that makes the products we use in our everyday lives. As the Big Fitz steamed across Lake Superior on the night of the 10th of November she was was caught up in a storm of historic proportions. The storm had hurricane force winds with freezing rain and violent high waves.
The storm was so intense that it forced most of the fleet to anchor at safe horbor in White Fish Bay along with many other safe anchorages. However, a few ships were caught in the open waters, the Big Fitz being one of them. She had been takeing on water, her radar knocked out, her communications gear damaged, but because of her well seasoned expert crew Captain McSorley informed the ship accompanying them that "We are holding our own". Those were the last words heard from the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald.
Over the years there has been much speculation over what caused the Big Fitz to sink so fast that all 29 of her crew persihed with her. Both U.S. and Canadian authorities have tried to solve the mystery. It seems most likely that her hull may have been bottomed out and she split in half by a rogue wave of immense proprtions. You may find the following web sites of interest:
Please when you get a moment today think of the families and crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald along with all of the sailors who have given up their lives to better our lives on the Great Lakes and oceans of the world. To the men of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald "Big Fitz" I salute you and bow my head in prayer for you, your fellow sailors and families.
Last edited by Nighthawk; 11-10-2012 at 11:57 AM.