SS Edmund Fitzgerald

TonyG13TonyG13 ChicagoMember Posts: 946 ✭✭✭
46 years ago today the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan.

After the Titanic, probably one of the most infamous sinkings.

NOAA put out an informational website about what happened. The "Mapping the Final Voyage" section is particularly interesting.

Here's a link to the site...

"Lord be good to us, for the sea is so wide and our ship is so small."


  • kordokordo Member Posts: 176 ✭✭
    Nice website.  Thanks.
  • rasburyrasbury Sanford, FLMember Posts: 6,953 ✭✭✭✭✭
    very cool, thanks for posting!
  • AlswaggAlswagg Member Posts: 2,983 ✭✭✭✭✭


    The SS Edmund Fitzgerald was an American Great Lakes freighter that sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975, with the loss of the entire crew of 29. When launched on June 8, 1958, she was the largest ship on North America's Great Lakes, and she remains the largest to have sunk there.

    Who remembers this ballad song by Gordon Lightfoot?

    The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

    The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

    Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

    The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead

    When the skies of November turn gloomy

    With a load of iron ore twenty-six thousand tons more

    Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty

    That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed

    When the gales of November came early

    The ship was the pride of the American side

    Coming back from some mill in Wisconsin

    As the big freighters go, it was bigger than most

    With a crew and good captain well seasoned

    Concluding some terms with a couple of steel firms

    When they left fully loaded for Cleveland

    Then later that night when the ship's bell rang

    Could it be the north wind they'd been feelin'?

    The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound

    When the wave broke over the railing

    And every man knew, as the captain did too

    'Twas the witch of November come stealin'

    The dawn came late and the breakfast had to wait

    When the gales of November came slashin'

    When afternoon came it was freezing rain

    In the face of a hurricane west wind

    When suppertime came, the old cook came on deck

    Sayin' "Fellas, it's too rough to feed ya"

    At seven PM a main hatchway caved in

    He said, "Fellas, it's been good to know ya"

    The captain wired in he had water comin' in

    And the good ship and crew was in peril

    And later that night when his lights went out of sight

    Came the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

    Does anyone know where the love of God goes

    When the waves turn the minutes to hours?

    The searchers all say they'd have made Whitefish Bay

    If they'd put fifteen more miles behind her

    They might have split up or they might have capsized

    They may have broke deep and took water

    And all that remains is the faces and the names

    Of the wives and the sons and the daughters

    Lake Huron rolls, Superior sings

    In the rooms of her ice-water mansion

    Old Michigan steams like a young man's dreams

    The islands and bays are for sportsmen

    And farther below, Lake Ontario

    Takes in what Lake Erie can send her

    And the iron boats go as the mariners all know

    With the gales of November remembered

    In a musty old hall in Detroit they prayed

    In the Maritime Sailors' Cathedral

    The church bell chimed 'til it rang twenty-nine times

    For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald

    The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down

    Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee

    Superior, they said, never gives up her dead

    When the gales of November come early

  • goalie59goalie59 Port DoverMember Posts: 239 ✭✭
    That is such an eree balid, sends chills up my back every time I hear it. Great story of how nasty the Great Lakes can be this time of year. 
  • halifax212halifax212 Halifax NS CanadaMember Posts: 464 ✭✭✭
    @TonyG13  Great post. Reading the timeline of the journey  had my full attention . When thing go bad on the water they happen fast.  
  • mattiemattie Sarnia, OntarioMember Posts: 875 ✭✭✭
    Agree @halifax212 the NOAA timeline was very cool. 25ft waves & snow. Not good.
    We get some really serious blows down here at the south end of Lake Huron. Superior is a whole other animal.

    in a bit of bad taste....a boat buddy of mine said:
    mistake was letting the cook call the shots.  

    246BR, 276BR, H310BR current
  • TonyG13TonyG13 ChicagoMember Posts: 946 ✭✭✭
    @TonyG13  Great post. Reading the timeline of the journey  had my full attention . When thing go bad on the water they happen fast.  
    Thanks. Reading the timeline I was amazed at how much detailed information that had about the incident. And that help was so close, but yet so far. 
  • randy56randy56 Newburgh INMember Posts: 3,665 ✭✭✭✭✭
    all very interesting. didn't know how treacherous the great lake could be.  Big storms : Of the more than 6000 ships that have found their graves under the icy waters of the Great Lakes, During the Fall Storm of 2017, buoys measured waves up to 28.8 feet just off the shorelines of Marquette and Alger counties.  2001. Winds over 55 mph were reported on Lake Superior along with waves over 25 feet over western Lake Superior. This storm also produced a three-day snowfall of over 30 inches.

    Edmund had17 years of pounding, perhaps metal fatigue?
    Boat Name : 

Sign In or Register to comment.