Skip to comments.Edmund Fitzgerald sank 36 years ago, 29 died
Posted on 11/10/2011 7:22:43 AM PST by WOBBLY BOB
Its been 36 years on Thursday since the ore boat Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a violent storm in eastern Lake Superior taking all 29 crew members with her.
The storm of November 9-10, 1975, ranks among the most powerful to strike the Lake Superior region.
(Excerpt) Read more at bemidjipioneer.com ...
Lightfoot was the best.
Well now we’ll all have that dreary song stuck in our heads all day.
“Was”? He’s still with us.
“I’m not dead yet”
I never listened to that whole song (it is so....... repetitious....) until I forced myself to, in the car a couple of years ago.
Was it really 45 minutes long?
Well, yeah, but a little past his prime.
No, that was Free Bird.
Yeah, UFO's hate Great Lakes ore-carriers.
I had no idea we were on the anniversary - but at our dinner table last night we were talking about how this song came up in one of our trivia games - Pictionary or one of those type games.
How much payload did the Edmund Fitzgerald carry?
“...with a load of iron ore 26 thousand pound more than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty......”
I heard on one of the XM radio stations recently that this song is the most requested by truck drivers...feeling of kinship I suppose.
The ship was named after the CEO of Northwestern Insurance, which owned it.
Probably Herman Cain.
I worked on Great Lakes ore carriers from 1972 to 1976 (did not sail in 1975-the year the Fitzgerald sank). Have spoken
to US Coast Guard officials and they still are not certain what caused her to sink. Several good explanations but not proven definitively. After the sinking, survial suits became required on the ore carriers, but the Fitzgerald sank
in something like 30 seconds or so-not enough time to put on the suits.
Was it really 45 minutes long?
There’s no bridge to the song that’s why it’s so repetitious. It’s sad, because the lyrics are poetic.
Not to nit pick, but it was 26,000 tons, not pounds.
Who knew they had a whole dump truck load of iron ore? I think you mean _TONS_.
One of my all-time favorites to.
One theory I heard was that the Edmund Fitzgerald was so long that it was caught by two waves at once, and broke up between them.
It may have been Discover or NatGeo...you might want to search their websites...it might be archived...
Elaine: What was the name of the ship in that song?
Jerry: Edmund Fitzgerald
Elaine: I LOVE Edmund Fitzgerald’s voice!
Jerry: No, Edmund Fitzgerald was the ship. Gordon Lightfoot was the singer.
Elaine: Are you sure? I thought Gordon Lightfoot was the ship.
Jerry: Yeah, and it was rammed by the Cat Stevens
Yes, that is one theory and it is pretty good; another which has been posted suggested the fully loaded ship had a wave on the bow and a wave on the stern, the middle was lifted out of the water and the bottom just gave out.
Also remember, the Fizgerald’s hull may have been weakened over time. She went into the ship yard some years before 1975, cut in half and lenghted.
There is also another theory that at least retired Coast Guard inspector told me about. It is very possible with the heavy seas, the water in a few spots became shallow and that the Fizgerald’s bottom may actually have run aground
and then kept on going.
It was a great song. We still had quarter juke boxes in those days and I’d always get my money’s worth when eating out with friends.
What a tragedy that was and Lightfoot’s haunting melody brought it home. Love that song. RIP Captain and Crew. :(
Thanks for the link. A respectful video tribute to the crew.
Thanks. It was the best one I could find.
Cool video from an ore carrier in a Lake Superior gale. It really doesn’t look so bad till you see her flexing down her length.
Just some more cool Superior storm video.
He recalled that the regular cook was ill so a replacement cook was called up from the local union hall.
The replacement cook had a foreboding, even morbid outlook on life and, particularly, for that trip to the lower lakes. he even predicted that this sailing might be his last.
The most common theory about the cause is the possible shoaling (hitting bottom) of the boat in a shallow area known to have damaged other ships in the past.
It is a great tragedy and I love the song, at least the first 200 verses.... then it gets a little stale.
Not sure if I'm expressing this correctly, but they later showed the intensity of the GL storms to be as fierce as an Atlantic gale..can you speak to this from your personal experiences..
LOL, but only live. If that is our standard, let’s check the list for Grateful Dead tunes. The longest continuous rock composition I know of is Thick as a Brick which was 43 minutes long as originally written (and rarely if ever performed).
“Haunting” is the best word to describe that wonderful song.
“Was it really 45 minutes long?”
“No, that was Free Bird.”
Or was it Green Grass and High Tides?
Yes, the nature of the Great Lakes- relatively shallow water and contained area leads to waves of shorter distances between each wave. Waves on the ocean are usually long and rolling; waves on the Great Lakes, especially Superior are short and pounding. One of the first people to sail around the world solo said the one time he really feared for his life was in a very bad storm on Lake Erie. People who are experts on oceans can probably explain this better-I just worked on deck.
That area of the lake can produce rogue waves as well. The Captain of the Arthur Anderson reported that they were experiencing some really big rollers. They’d have to be to drive the Fitz into the lake bottom like that.
Could have been “Stranglehold”.
Anybody who has charts of the area who can tell us the bottom contour along her course?
Or perhaps “Dazed and Confused.”
The boat sank faster.
Led Zepplin had John Bonham’s 6 to 30 minute drum solo in Moby Dick. This would be one of the shorter versions.
Well, the captains, mates, and the wheelsman or helmsman are
certainly some of the best ship handlers in the world.
There is a known and well charted shoal (I think its called “Six Fathom Shoal” or something like that) in Canadian waters, northeast of Isle Royal.