Ten years ago, the unthinkable happened. Our complacency was shattered. Our unquestioning reliance on modern technology was shaken. And once again we were reminded that our beautiful Great Lakes can be overwhelmingly powerful
Yes, it was on Monday, November 10th, 1975, that the EDMUND FITZGERALD, downbound with a cargo of taconite, foundered some thirteen miles off Coppermine Point and fifteen miles off Whitefish Point, just a few miles short of the shelter of Whitefish Bay. She had been just a few miles ahead of the ARTHUR M. ANDERSON all the way down the lake, and both ships had taken a circuitous route, including a diversion behind Caribou Island, in an effort to avoid the full fury of the intense autumn storm.
The FITZGERALD sank very suddenly and, ever since, the authorities and the public alike have sought an explanation for the disaster. The broken hull of the ship has been explored where it lies on the bottom of Lake Superior and much blatantly faulty theory has been advanced concerning the manner in which the FITZGERALD and her crew met their fate. Much more could be said concerning the circumstances of the accident but this is not the time for such matters.
This, rather, is the time to remember the FITZGERALD and her crew, and to hope that no lake vessel will ever again come to such an unfortunate end. It is also a time to call to mind the respect in which we must hold the waters of our lakes.
Reproduced for the Web with the permission of the Toronto Marine Historical Society.