Monday, November 11, 2013
Yesterday was the anniversary of the sinking of the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald in a storm on Lake Superior just short of Whitefish Point, Michigan, on the evening of February 10, 1975. The exact cause of the sinking is still unclear, but was most likely caused by the accidental grounding of the Fitzgerald (caused by the storm-related loss of her radars) on a poorly-charted reef, which caused her to ride lower in the water and leave her vulnerable to foundering under a series of rogue waves known as "The Three Sisters."
The Edmund Fitzgerald's skipper, Ernest McSorely, a 44-year veteran of the Great Lakes, was from Toledo, OH, which was also a frequent stop for the ship. Thus, her sinking was a big story there. My father covered it extensively when he worked for WTOL. They used the same stock picture of the Fitzgerald:
For little 4-year-old me at the time, this picture was both fascinating and frightening. That ominous-looking black crane in the background, apparently used to dispense coal and taconite, looked to this toddler like some sort of monster.
I guess it was best that I never saw this picture:
May Captain McSorely and his crew always be remembered.