The Fitzgerald Enquiry

Table of Contents

Title Page
The Editor's Notebook
Marine News
You Asked Us
The Wisdom Of Experience?
Halstead Jackson
The Fitzgerald Enquiry
Ship of the Month No. 67 TURBINIA
Table of Illustrations

The U.S. Coast Guard committee which was conducting the enquiry into the November 10, 1975 loss of EDMUND FITZGERALD announced its findings on August 2nd. The committee found that normal wear and tear on the hatches of the steamer had not been repaired and that the hatchcovers and dogs were insufficiently strong to keep the ship's holds dry in such severe weather. It is the investigators' opinion that the covers or fastenings failed in the storm and that water was admitted, causing the FITZ to ride lower and lower in the water until she finally plunged into one wave and did not come up.

While we have read only press reports of the findings and not the committee's report itself, and while we are really in no position to be a judge of the matter, it would have been our considered opinion that the end of EDMUND FITZGERALD came much more quickly than indicated by the committee. Not only were her engines still running when she hit the bottom, but her Captain had no time even to grab the radio handset to call for help. Whatever came upon the FITZ that night did so with unbelievable suddenness.

Enquiries may come and enquiries may go but we doubt that we shall ever know exactly what sank the EDMUND FITZGERALD.


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