ss edmund fitzgerald

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On 10 Nov. 1975, the largest ship on the Great Lakes, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank.

The ship left Superior, WI on the afternoon of 9 November and was heading toward a steel mill near Detroit, MI, when it was caught in a severe storm the next day, with near-hurricane force winds and waves of 35 feet.

Shortly after 7 pm, the ship sank about 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay (near Sault Ste. Marie, MI). No distress signals were sent, and all 29 crew members were lost.

Gordon Lightfoot read about the disaster in the 24 Nov. 1975 issue of Newsweek magazine and was inspired to write a song based on the events. “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” was released a year later on 20 Nov. 1976.

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We are almost upon the dreadful day that marks the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, and the unfortunate loss of its 29 crew members. Christened and launched in June of 1958, her maiden voyage was on September 24th of the same year. Also known as The Mighty Fitz and the Pride of the American Flag, she served for 17 years. With a length of 729 feet and a beam (width) of 75 feet, she is the largest ship to sink in the Great Lakes. Her registry number was US 277437, and she was tragically taken out of service on November 10th, 1975.

I cannot imagine what it must have been like to be on board that ship on that fateful day.