The Edmund Fitzgerald

Hello, my loves!

Man, it has been a minute. Life, kids, divorce, blah blah blah you know the drill. But I’m trying to get ahead of all the resolution making and kick things off a couple months early. Hence, my glorious return to this twisted little corner of the interweb. Let’s dive right in, shall we?

Nearly 44 years ago to this very day, the SS Edmund Fitzgerald left port in Superior, Wisconsin. She carried a crew of 29 and a shipment of ore pellets, their path set to Detroit via Lake Superior. Now let’s give you a little lake breakdown. Lake Superior is the largest of the great lakes – actually the largest freshwater lake on the planet in terms of surface area – this bad ass body of water clocks in at a whopping 31,700 square miles (82,103 km). The temperature is an almost constant 39 °F (4 °C)….this all comes into play. Trust me.

Edmund Fitzgerald, 1971, 3 of 4 (restored).jpg

The Edmund Fitzgerald (1971)

On the afternoon of November 9th, the Edmund Fitzgerald joined the freighter SS Arthur M. Andersen. Together they made their way to the steel mill. On the 10th, both freighters were trapped in a wicked storm with waves nearing 11m/35 feet. Captain Ernest McSorley sent out a message to the SS Arthur saying, “I have a bad list, lost both radars. And am taking heavy seas over the deck. One of the worst seas I’ve ever been in.”

Before a distress call could be made, the Edmund Fitzgerald vanished into the black waters, sinking 17 miles from Whitefish Point on Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Four days later sonar discovered the ship laying in two pieces at a depth of 530 feet. All 29 crew members perished.

Lake Superior is known as the lake that never gives up it’s dead. With the cold temperatures, bacteria needed for decomposition grows so slowly that the bodies don’t fill up with gas and float to the surface. To this day, the bodies of the crew still remain on the ship.

Reports of what happened range from phenomenons such as the Three Sisters – three consecutive rouge waves – to being shoaled. Unfortunately no one knows what fate met the SS Edmund Fitzgerald but the sailors of the deep. May they rest in peace.

Captain Ernest M. McSorley

Michael E. Armagost

Fred J. Beetcher

Thomas D. Bentsen

Edward F. Bindon

Thomas D. Borgeson

Oliver J. Champeau

Nolan S. Church

Ransom E. Cundy

Thomas E. Edwards

Russell G. Haskell

George J. Holl

Bruce L. Hudson

Allen G. Kalmon

Gorden Maclellan

Joseph Mazes

John H. McCarthy

Eugene O’Brien

Karl A. Peckol

John J. Poviach

James A. Pratt

Robert C. Rafferty

Paul M. Rippa

John D. Simmons

William J. Spengler

Mark A. Thomas

Ralph G. Walton

David E. Weiss

Blaine H. Wilhelm


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