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Edmund "Big Fitz" Fitzgerald

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Topic: Edmund "Big Fitz" Fitzgerald
Posted By: Cookie Monster
Subject: Edmund "Big Fitz" Fitzgerald
Date Posted: December 19 2006 at 11:40am



Replies:
Posted By: 303carbine
Date Posted: December 19 2006 at 12:31pm
Isn't that the one that sunk in a storm on of the big lakes in Kanuckystan.


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: December 19 2006 at 1:09pm
My late Granpa knew the cook. She was a big one.Thats why she stayed in the upper lakes.
My Grandpa used to say he figgered the"three sisters got her" - he may have been right.He told me far as he knew - she was too heavy to make for Whitefish & shoulda put in earlier when he had the chance.I guess it was the Capn's last voyage.he was to retire after this trip.His wife was quite ill & needed him home.
What a shame.
2 weeks before she went down, fella I know (Ray) was on another ship, & the old man on Fitz back her into Ray's ship.Ray figgered the Ole man had lost it.
Hoadie

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Lithgow
Date Posted: December 19 2006 at 2:44pm

The cook was a big one?



Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: December 19 2006 at 2:56pm
Their certainly a different designed vessel ! I take it the Wheel house was up the front due to the areas they worked in (better visibility ?) Also Hoadie you mention the Three sisters ? Were these a wind that blew in across the lakes?


    Dave 


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 19 2006 at 9:31pm
                                  The Crew
 
Ernest M. McSorley, 63, Captain
John H. McCarthy, 62, first mate
James A. Pratt, 44, second mate
Michael E. Armagost, 37, third mate
George J. Holl, 60, chief engineer
Edward E. Bindon, 47, first assistant engineer
Thomas E. Edwards, 50, second assistant engineer
Russell G. Haskel, 40, second assistant engineer
Oliver J. Champeau, 51, third assistant engineer
David E. Weiss, 22, deck cadet
Eugene W. O'Brien, 50, wheelman
John J. Poviach, 59, wheelman
John D. Simmons, 60, wheelman
Ransom E. Cundy, 53, watchman
Karl A. Peckol, 55, watchman
 
 
William J. Spengler, 59, watchman
Thomas Bentsen, 23, oiler
Ralph G. Walton, 58, oiler
Blaine H. Wilhelm, 52, oiler
Gordon E. MacLellan, 30, wiper
Robert C. Rafferty, 62, steward
Allen G. Kalmon, 43, second cook
Frederick J. Beetcher, 54, porter
Nolan E. Church, 55, porter
Thomas E. Borgeson, 41, able seaman maintenance man
Joseph W. Mazes, 59, special maintenance man
Bruce L. Hudson, 22, deckhand
Paul M. Riipa, 22, deckhand
Mark A. Thomas, 21, deckhand


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 19 2006 at 9:41pm

On February 1, 1957, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin contracted Great Lakes Engineering Works (GLEW), of River Rouge, Michigan, to design and build an ore bulk carrier laker for Northwestern. The contract contained the stipulation that the boat be the largest on the Great Lakes. GLEW laid the keel of this boat on August 7th of that year, and some time between then and her christening and launch on June 8, 1958, Northwestern announced their decision to name the boat for their President and Chairman of the Board, Edmund Fitzgerald, whose father had been a lake captain.The completed boat had a capacity of 26,600 tons. Her large cargo hold loaded through twenty-one watertight hatches, each measuring 11'-7" by 54' of 5/16" steel. The boat's engines were originally coal-fired, but would be converted to burn oil during the 1971-72 winter layup. With a length of 729', she met the demanding stipulation of the contract and was the largest boat on the Great Lakes, a record she held until the 1970s, when 1000' lakers first appeared.

Fitzgerald's christening and launch proved troublesome, and some believe that bad luck dogged the boat from the beginning. When Mrs. Fitzgerald went to christen the boat by breaking a champagne bottle over the bow, it took her three swings to break the bottle. Upon launching the vessel in the water, the boat was slightly damaged as it hit the dock, and finally, at the ceremony one of the onlookers suffered a heart attack.

Sea trials for the Fitzgerald began on September 13th, 1958, and Northwestern handed the operation of the boat to the Columbia Transportation Division of the Oglebay Norton Corporation one week later. For the next 17 years Fitzgerald carried taconite from mines near Duluth, Minnesota to iron works in Detroit, Toledo and other ports. Prior to the events of November 9, 1975, she suffered five collisions, running aground in 1969, colliding with the S.S. Hochelaga in 1970 and then striking the wall of a lock later in the same year, hitting a lock's wall again in 1973, and then again the following year. She also lost her bow anchor in the Detroit River in 1974.


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 19 2006 at 9:48pm

November 10, 1975 the bulk freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior with all hands. 

The Fitzgerald cleared Superior, Wisconsin, on her last trip on November 9, 1975, with a cargo of 26,116 tons of taconite pellets consigned to Detroit. Traveling down Lake Superior in company with ARTHUR M. ANDERSON of the United States Steel Corporation's Great Lakes Fleet, she encountered heavy weather and in the early evening of November 10th, suddenly foundered approximately 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay (47 North Latitude, 85 7' West Longitude)

Captain McSorley of the "FITZ" had indicated he was having difficulty and was taking on water. She was listing to port and had two of three ballast pumps working. She had lost her radar and damage was noted to ballast tank vent pipes and he was overheard on the radio saying, "don't allow nobody (sic) on deck." McSorley said it was the worst storm he had ever seen. All 29 officers and crew, including a Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadet, went down with the ship, which lies broken in two sections in 530 feet of water.

 

Surveyed by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1976 using the U.S. Navy CURV III system, the wreckage consisted of an upright bow section, approximately 275 feet long and an inverted stern section, about 253 feet long, and a debris field comprised of the rest of the hull in between. Both sections lie within 170 feet of each other.

The EDMUND FITZGERALD was removed from documentation January, 1976.

The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23, 1978 to reject the U. S. Coast Guard's official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck.

This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands.

The U.S. Coast Guard, report on August 2, 1977 cited faulty hatch covers, lack of water tight cargo hold bulkheads and damage caused from an undetermined source.


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 12:36am
Originally posted by Lithgow Lithgow wrote:

The cook was a big one?




NO, you tit! The Fitzgerald was a big one! She was larger than most lakers.
Hoadie

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 12:52am
Davey; the old timer lake sailors talked about Lake Superior as a very mysterious lake.Indian folklore is the same.Shes the deepest freshwater lake in the world(if I remember correctly).On seemingly calm days fierce storms can come from nowhere.
My Grandfather - & his contemporaries - reffered to "The three sisters" that seem to stalk Lake Superior.They appear to be a flurry of 3 big waves that don't seem to fit the pattern of the storm, & are quite large, with no forewarning.The first catches the unsuspecting ship by the bow & tosses her up, the 2nd breaks over her bow when shes riding down the wave - & forces her bow below the surface - creating huge stress midships(& sometimes breaking in two) the 3rd sister keeps her under & floods her out.Or so the lore goes.
Fact is - she is broken.
Hoadie


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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Lithgow
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 3:43am

You SWORE!!!!!!!. Im tellin.

DAVE, DAVE, Hoadie called me a tit.


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 7:47am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 7:49am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 7:50am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 7:53am
Weather map of what caused that storm
 


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 7:56am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 7:58am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 8:01am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 8:03am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 8:04am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 8:04am


Posted By: White Rhino
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 8:11am
???????????????

-------------
"White Rhino"

"Everybody's got to believe in something. I believe I'll have another beer." --W. C. Fields


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 1:42pm
I should clarify, as well - my Grandfather knew the cook on Fitz..but not the cook that was with her when she went down.The cook he knew retired before she sank.
FYI: Gordon Lightfoot scored a HUGE hit with his song,"Wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald".It STILL gets alot of play on the airwaves.(A very good tribute to an American ship & crew, by a Canuck.) But it speaks well of the dangers shared by the crews on the lakes.
Hoadie

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 11:29pm
  Edmund Fitzgerald expeditions
 
Many expeditions to the wreckage of the Edmund Fitzgerald have taken place in the past thirty years in an attempt to survey the wreck and shed light on the cause of the tragedy.  Here are brief outlines of a few of the major expeditions.  The illustration on the bottom of this page is courtesy of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society and was created by Peter Rindlisbacher.

     

May 1976 - U.S. Coast Guard Expedition

    During the initial expedition made by the United States Coast Guard in May, 1976, many new discoveries were made.  One of these things was the ship itself!  The ship was discovered only a few days after the sinking, but this expedition officially determined that the wreckage was the Edmund Fitzgerald through identification of the hull and the name on the ships.  Hundreds of photos were taken, and the official United States Coast Guard report was issued following the analysis of the data collected during the expedition.  After its investigation, the Coast Guard announced its highly controversial theory that the ship sank due to faulty hatch covers, spawning anger from some and disbelief from researchers and family members.

September 1980 - Calypso Expedition

    On September 24, 1980, the second major expedition to the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck site commenced.  The expedition took place under the leadership of Jacques Cousteau's son, Jean Michel.  Cousteau owned the ship that the expedition was named after, the Calypso.

    The wreck was explored with the help of a two-man submarine operated by Albert Falco and Colin Mounier and the purpose of the trip was the production of a film about the Saint Lawrence River and its tributaries.  The final version contained a few glimpses of the Fitzgerald, but not much was learned (about the Fitzgerald) during the expedition.  Following the expedition, the group claimed to discover that the ship broke in two on the surface and did not sink very quickly, though this cannot be verified due to no eyewitness accounts.

August 1989 - ROV (Remote Operated Vehicle) Expedition

    Under the organization of Michigan Sea Grant, in late August, 1989, the Edmund Fitzgerald was again explored with the highly technological Remote Operated Vehicle (ROV).  The exploration included many experts including: the NOAA (National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration), the National Geographical Society, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society, US Army Corps, and the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.  The R.V. Grayling was the primary ship utilized in the expedition.

     During this expedition some of the discoveries made were very haunting.  Once again, determination could not be made on the cause of the sinking, but there was still glass intact on the ship, and there was also a door on the pilothouse that was open.  This could lead people to believe that someone tried to escape since the door was not "dogged."  The team also claimed some of the damage on the bow could not have been caused by the storm...it was far too extensive.

 
 

July 1994 - MacInnis Expedition

     This expedition, called "Great Lakes 94," was a six-week expedition surveying the Great Lakes and Saint Lawrence River.  It was conducted under the supervision of Dr. Joseph MacInnis.  On the expedition with the team was Executive Director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, Mr. Tom Farnquist.  Mr. Farnquist made observations during the expedition, and claimed to have concluded that it was almost impossible that the ship broke in two on the surface.  This theory is in contrast to other divers' theories, but is no more or less plausible.  In addition to these discoveries, more extensive damage than previously reported was discovered, and taconite pellets were also found scattered all over the wrecksite and lake floor.

1995 - Bell Recovery

     Under the cooperation and direction of several organizations, the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society retrieved the bell from the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1995 by request of many of the Edmund Fitzgerald families.  The bell was restored following its recovery and is currently displayed in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point Michigan. 

 



Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 11:30pm
Originally posted by White Rhino White Rhino wrote:

???????????????
 
Rhino,
Thats a weather map during the storm that cause the demise of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
 
Cookie Monster


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 11:41pm
  

Timeline of Events for the Edmund Fitzgerald

    

1957
February 1
A contract is signed between the Great Lakes Engineering Works (GLEW) and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company stipulating that GLEW is to design and build the largest ship on the Great Lakes.

     

August 7

The keel of hull number 301 (the Edmund Fitzgerald) is laid in River Rouge, Michigan

     

1958

The Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company officially announces they will name the ship for the recently elected chairman of the board, Mr. Edmund Fitzgerald.

     

June 8
The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald is christened, making it the largest freighter sailing on the Great Lakes.

     

September 13

Testing of the seaworthiness (sea trials) of the Edmund Fitzgerald begins.  Passing these trials will allow the Edmund Fitzgerald to officially begin sailing and carrying cargo under the supervision of a crew.

     

September 22

Operation of the ship is handed over Oglebay-Norton.

     

September 24

The Fitzgerald takes her first voyage under Captain Bert Lambert through the Soo Locks.  Upon returning, the ship breaks the record for the largest load carried through the Locks.

     

1959

The Edmund Fitzgerald is assigned a new captain: Captain Larson

     

1966

Peter P. Pulcer becomes captain of the Edmund Fitzgerald

     

1969

September 6

Internal and external damage occurs when the Edmund Fitzgerald hits ground near the Soo Locks.

     

1970

April 30

The Edmund Fitzgerald and the S.S. Hochelaga collide, causing damage for the second time in less than eight months.

     

September 4

The Edmund Fitzgerald is damaged when it hits a lock wall.  This is the third time the Edmund Fitzgerald has been subjected to significant damage in only 12 months.

     

1971-1972

During winter maintenance in Duluth, Minnesota, the Fitzgerald is converted from running on coal to running on oil.

     

1972

Captain Ernest McSorley takes command of the Edmund Fitzgerald.  McSorley is the last captain the Fitzgerald will sail under.

     

1973

May

Damage is sustained by hitting a Soo Lock wall.

     

1974

January 7

The ship loses its bow anchor at about one mile to the west of Belle Isle, on the Detroit River.

     

June 17

The Edmund Fitzgerald hits a Soo Lock wall, causing additional damage for the second time in one month.

     

1975
November 9

8:30 AM

The Edmund Fitzgerald is loaded with taconite pellets at Burlington Northern Railroad, Dock 1.  The ship is scheduled to transport the cargo to Zug Island on the Detroit River.

     
2:20 PM
The Fitzgerald departs Lake Superior en route of Detroit with 26,116 tons of taconite pellets.  

     
2:39 PM
The National Weather Service issues gale warnings for the area which the Fitzgerald is sailing in.  Captain Cooper on the Anderson radios a freighter (the Edmund Fitzgerald) that he spots.
     
4:15 PM
The Fitzgerald spots the Arthur M. Anderson some 15 miles behind it.
     
November 10
1:00 AM
Weather report from the Fitzgerald.
The report from the Fitzgerald shows her  to be 20 miles south of Isle Royale.  Winds are at  52 knots, with waves ten feet in height.
     
7:00 AM
Weather report from the Fitzgerald.
Winds are at 35 knots, waves of ten feet.  This is the last weather report that the Edmund Fitzgerald will ever make.
     

3:15 PM

Captain Jesse Cooper, (J.C.) of the S.S. Arthur M. Anderson watches the Fitzgerald round Caribou Island and comments that the Fitzgerald is much closer to Six Fathom Shoal than he would want to be.

     

3:20 PM

Anderson reports winds coming from the Northwest at 43 knots.

     

3:30 PM

Radio transmission between the Fitzgerald and the Anderson

Captain McSorley (C.M.) to Captain Cooper (C.C.):

     

C.M.: "Anderson, this is the Fitzgerald.  I have sustained some topside damage.  I have a fence rail laid down, two vents lost or damaged, and a list.  I'm checking down.  Will you stay by me til I get to Whitefish?"

     

C.C.: "Charlie on that Fitzgerald.  Do you have your pumps going?"

     

C.M.: "Yes, both of them

     

4:10 PM

The Fitzgerald radios the Arthur M. Anderson requesting radar assistance for the remainder of the voyage.

     

Fitzgerald: "Anderson, this is the Fitzgerald.  I have lost both radars.  Can you provide me with radar plots till we reach Whitefish Bay?"

     

Anderson: "Charlie on that, Fitzgerald.  We'll keep you advised of position."

     
About 4:39 PM
The Fitzgerald cannot pick up the Whitefish Point radio beacon.  The Fitzgerald radios the Coast Guard station at Grand Marais on Channel 16, the emergency channel.

     

Between 4:30 and 5:00 PM

The Edmund Fitzgerald calls for any vessel in the Whitefish Point area regarding information about the beacon and light at Whitefish Point.  They receive an answer by the saltwater vessel Avafors that the beacon and the light are not operating.

     

Estimated between 5:30 and 6:00 PM

Radio transmission between the Avafors and the Fitzgerald.

     

Avafors: "Fitzgerald, this is the Avafors.  I have the Whitefish light now but still am receiving no beacon.  Over."

     

Fitzgerald: "I'm very glad to hear it."

     

Avafors: "The wind is really howling down here.  What are the conditions where you are?"

     

Fitzgerald: (Undiscernable shouts heard by the Avafors.) "DON'T LET NOBODY ON DECK!"

     

Avafors: "What's that, Fitzgerald? Unclear. Over."

     

Fitzgerald: "I have a bad list, lost both radars.  And am taking heavy seas over the deck.  One of the worst seas I've ever been in."

     

Avafors: "If I'm correct, you have two radars."

     

Fitzgerald: "They're both gone."

     
Sometime around 7:00 PM
The Anderson is struck by two huge waves that put water on the ship, 35 feet above the water line.  The waves hit with enough force to push the starboard lifeboat down, damaging the bottom.
     

7:10 PM

Radio transmission between the Anderson and the Fitzgerald.

The Fitzgerald is still being followed by the Arthur M. Anderson.  They are about 10 miles behind the Fitzgerald.

     

Anderson: "Fitzgerald, this is the Anderson.  Have you checked down?"

     

Fitzgerald: "Yes we have."

     

Anderson: "Fitzgerald, we are about 10 miles behind you, and gaining about 1 1/2 miles per hour.  Fitzgerald, there is a target 19 miles ahead of us.  So the target would be 9 miles on ahead of you."

     

Fitzgerald: "Well, am I going to clear?"

     

Anderson: "Yes.  He is going to pass to the west of you."

     

Fitzgerald: "Well, fine."

     

Anderson: "By the way, Fitzgerald, how are you making out with your problem?"

     

Fitzgerald: "We are holding our own."

     

Anderson: "Okay, fine.  I'll be talking to you later."

     

They never did speak later...The 29 men onboard the Fitzgerald will never again speak with anyone outside of the ship.

     

Sometime between 7:20 and 7:30 PM

It is estimated that this was the time period when the ship vanished and sank.

     

7:15 PM
The Fitzgerald enters a squall while still on Lake Superior; the squall obscures the vessel from radar observation by the Anderson; this is normal when in a squall.
     
7:25 PM
Edmund Fitzgerald disappears from the radar of the S.S. Arthur M. Anderson, prompting a call to the Coast Guard to inform them of the situation.
     
7:55 PM
The Anderson calls again and informs the Coast Guard that they have lost the Fitzgerald both visually and on radar. 

     

9:00 PM

The Coast Guard, with no available search ships, radios the Arthur M. Anderson requesting assistance.

     

C.G.: "Anderson, this is Group Soo.  What is your present position?"

     

Anderson: "We're down here, about two miles off Parisienne Island right now... the wind is northwest forty to forty-five miles here in the bay."

     

C.G.: "Is it calming down at all, do you think?"

     

Anderson: "In the bay it is, but I heard a couple of the salties talking up there, and they wish they hadn't gone out."

     

After much more conversation and a request by the Coast Guard to return to search for the ship, reluctant to go out, the S.S. Arthur M. Anderson agrees to "give it a try" but claims that that is "all we can do."

     
10:53 PM
The first aircraft arrives on the scene from Traverse City, Michigan.

     

November 11, 1975

around 2:00 AM

William Clay Ford arrives at the scene of the wreck.

     

November 11, 1975, morning

    A Reverend by the name of Richard Ingalls prays in his church and holds a memorial service for the twenty nine men lost.  This service becomes an annual service and is mentioned in the song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" by Gordon Lightfoot.

     

1976

    The song, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is released by Gordon Lightfoot to the public commemorating the shipwreck.  This song is still performed to this day at his concerts.

     

May

    The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald is OFFICIALLY identified.

     

1980

    Calypso expedition takes place.

     

1995

    The bell of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald is raised, restored, and replaced on the ship by a new bell with the names of the twenty nine men lost.  This is the last time the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald will ever again be legally dived upon.



Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 20 2006 at 11:41pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:32am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:33am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:34am

BUILT: Great Lakes Engineering Works, Ecorse, Michigan GROSS REGISTERED TONNAGE: 13,632
HULL NUMBER: 301 REGISTRY NUMBER: US 277437
LENGTH: 711.2 ENGINES Steam Turbine 2 cylinder - 7,500 SHP
BREADTH: 75.1 ENGINE BUILDER: Westinghouse Electric Corporation
DEPTH: 33.4


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:35am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:39am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:40am
EDMUND FITZGERALD, US.277437, Lake Bulk Freighter built in 1958 by the Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, MI as Hull #301. Her keel was laid in August, 1957. Launched June 7, 1958 as a) EDMUND FITZGERALD for the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. (Columbia Transportation Co., Cleveland, OH, mgr.). 729'loa, 711'lbp x 75'x 39'; 13,632 GRT, 8713 NRT, 26,600 dwt. Powered by a 7,500 shp Westinghouse Electric Co. double reduction geared, cross-compound steam turbine, and two coal-fired Combustion Engineering water tube boilers, with a total heating surface of 13,288 sq.ft. Engine and boilers built in 1958. Rated service speed: 14 knots (16.1 mph). Sea trials occurred on September 13th, and she was commissioned on September 22nd. The FITZGERALD's first cargo of taconite pellets was loaded September 24, 1958 at Silver Bay, MN. for Toledo, OH. A Bird-Johnson diesel powered bow thruster was installed in 1969 resulting in a decrease in net registered tonnage to 8686. The FITZ collided with the Canadian steamer HOCHELAGA at the mouth of the Detroit River, May 1, 1970, suffering slight damage at hatches 18 and 19. During the 1971-72 winter lay up at Duluth, MN., she was converted from coal to oil-fired boilers which were automated at that time, and the fuel tanks were installed in the space that was occupied by the coal bunkers. Also a fire fighting system and a sewage holding tank were installed at that time. Minor cracking at the keelson to shell connection was repaired by installing additional stiffening on the keelson in 1970 and additional welding was required in 1973-74. The EDMUND FITZGERALD foundered on Lake Superior during a severe storm November 10, 1975 at approximately 7:10 pm about 17 miles north-northwest of Whitefish Point, MI at position 470'N by 857'W in Canadian waters. The FITZGERALD was running downbound loaded with 26,116 tons of taconite ore pellets from Superior, WI for Detroit, MI. During the height of the storm in 70 knot winds, 25 foot waves combed her deck decreasing her normal 12 feet of freeboard. Several times tons of water washed over her deck and challenged her buoyancy. Her sinking was so quick that no radio message was given though she had been in frequent visual and radio contact with the steamer ARTHUR M. ANDERSON. The FITZGERALD disappeared from sight in a furious snow squall and then from radar. Captain McSorley of the "FITZ" had indicated he was having difficulty and was taking on water. She was listing to port and had two of three ballast pumps working. She had lost her radar and damage was noted to ballast tank vent pipes and he was overheard on the radio saying, "don't allow nobody (sic) on deck." McSorley said it was the worst storm he had ever seen. All 29 officers and crew, including a Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadet, went down with the ship, which lies broken in two sections in 530 feet of water. Surveyed by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1976 using the U.S. Navy CURV III system, the wreckage consisted of an upright bow section, approximately 275 feet long and an inverted stern section, about 253 feet long, and a debris field comprised of the rest of the hull in between. Both sections lie within 170 feet of each other. The EDMUND FITZGERALD was removed from documentation January, 1976. The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23, 1978 to reject the U. S. Coast Guard's official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck. This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands. The U.S. Coast Guard, report on August 2, 1977 cited faulty hatch covers, lack of water tight cargo hold bulkheads and damage caused from an undetermined source.


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:41am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:44am
The%20Edmund%20Fitzgerald


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:45am
Last%20Light,%20%20Art%20portraying%20the%20Edmund%20Fitzgerald


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:46am
Reflections%20in%20Time,%20Art%20portraying%20the%20Edmund%20Fitzgerald.


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 1:54am
Thanks for the information Fellas ! Very interesting indeed. Oh by the Way Hoadie go to the corner & face the wall for swearing (calling Al a TIT )


    Dave 


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 2:22am
Dave! Put ur glasses on! I never called AL a tit...I called Lithgow a tit!
Hoadie

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 2:29am
Just a tidbit of interest for our friends removed from the Great Lakes system...the lake beds are littered with shipwrecks..especially on Lakes Huron & Superior. It makes for a wreck divers dream.Fresh water - good visability etc. But there is 100's of wrecks.A great many of them are in shallower waters - unlike the Fitz.
Hoadie

-------------
Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 2:36am
Originally posted by dave h dave h wrote:

Their certainly a different designed vessel ! I take it the Wheel house was up the front due to the areas they worked in (better visibility ?) Also Hoadie you mention the Three sisters ? Were these a wind that blew in across the lakes? Dave


The "design" may be different from where you are,Dave-but on the great lakes, thats pretty much a standard.Few of the vessels have deep sea bows, cause they don't usually go into salt water.If they do - they cling to the coast.
The power & force exacted on these ships can be awesome.When they come into the canal from lake Ontario - or from Lake Erie - you'll notice how the hull plates have stoved & buckled under the force from the water. I grew up near the Welland Canal - my Grandpa & uncles sailed.I can see the ships going thru from my house.You should look it up on the net.Welland Ship Canal..or Highway H2O
Hoadie

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Guests
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 2:57am
Originally posted by hoadie hoadie wrote:

Dave! Put ur glasses on! I never called AL a tit...I called Lithgow a tit!
Hoadie


 My appologies ! It's late in the night & I'm still winding down from the night's entertainment (Mother Nature was at her worst last night! Flash flooding ,Trees down  ,all in all a Top night out ) 

    Thanks for those sites though I find this quite interesting as our only Fresh water Transport was the Old Paddle steamers that plied their Trade on the Inland river systems

    Dave


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 3:13am
http://www.flickr.com/photos/65189390@N00/288801709/">  


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 3:16am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 3:17am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 3:17am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 3:17am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 3:20am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 3:26am
What caused "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald?"

by Bob Henneman
Updated 21 October 2001


Although the wreck was discovered and surveyed several years ago, the causes of the sinking of the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald were not solved until recently.  The wreck was extensively investigated by remote cameras in the last year or so by members of the National Transportation Safety Board (yes, they do ship wrecks as well as planes and trains).  They solved the mystery of her loss quite easily.

The ship was carrying taconite, a type of small iron ore pellets.  These pellets are porous, so a cargo of them will easily absorb water and gain weight at an incredible rate if they are allowed to get wet.  The wreck of the ship was found, as expected, with her cargo dumped out.  Ore carriers usually capsize when they sink, unless the water is too shallow to allow them to roll over.  They flip, dump the heavy cargo, and then roll back upright from the residual buoyancy in the hull.  The weight of the cargo made the ship flip over, dumping the taconite out the hatch covers.  Once free of the cargo, the ship then at least partially righted herself, struck the bottom bow-first and broke in half.  The front half settled upright, the stern is upside down.

The clue that gave away the cause of the sinking was the clamps that hold down the hatch covers.  They are universally missing from wrecked ore carriers, as they are ripped off with the hatch covers by the weight of the cargo as the ship flips.  In the case of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the clamps were not only still on the ship, but they were in perfect condition, even though the hatch covers were gone.  The obvious conclusion from this finding is that the clamps were not securing the hatch covers when the ship sank but were instead left unlocked.

Ore carriers sit very low in the water when filled to capacity and, in a gale, water often washes over the main deck.  With the hatch covers not secured (remember, the ship left port in clear weather and the storm blew up rather quickly), the waves breaking over the Edmund Fitzgerald saturated the cargo.  As the cargo got heavier and heavier, the ship sank lower and lower.  The now dangerously overloaded ship, without a bit of reserve buoyancy, was hit by a large wave (reported by a nearby vessel that was also hit by it), and the vessel was swamped.  She sank like a rock.  It is hard to accept that the crew did not notice the vessel becoming waterlogged and sinking, but this is a fairly common occurrence in bad weather.  Without a steady waterline to go by, no one on board notices the gradual settling of the vessel.

What prompted the reassessment of the sinking is that a few years back the Atlantic Gypsum Conveyor, a conveyer ship full of gypsum, was sailing up the East Coast.  A conveyer ship is similar to a tanker, but with onboard conveyer belts below the main deck to self-load dry cargo like chalk, gypsum, talc, etc.  A door at the side of the stern allows the ship to offload herself to train cars or hoppers on the dock.   The crew of this particular conveyor ship had failed to properly secure this door.  In only slightly rough seas, each wave dumped a little more water into the conveyer passage and on into the holds.  The gypsum quickly absorbed it, thus becoming very heavy.  A Coast Guard plane happened by, and noticed that the ship was very low in the water.  It started to video tape the ship, and radioed the crew to offer assistance.  The crew responded, basically saying "Help? Why would we need help? Things couldn't be better."  The Coast Guard pointed out that the ship was about to sink, which the ship's master did not believe until it was too late.  About 10 minutes later the ship dipped her bows into a trough, and never came back up.  She rolled over and was on the bottom of the ocean inside of a minute.  I don't recall the number of casualties.  Had that Coast Guard plane not happened along and alerted the captain and crew, they might have all disappeared without a trace, creating yet another mysterious ship loss.

As a result of this incident, the NTSB decided to re-examine the Edmund Fitzgerald with new video technology which was not available the last time they looked at her wreck.  The NTSB also had the Coast Guard revoke the operating certificate of the conveyer ship's sistership until the door was modified to prevent a repeat accident.



Posted By: A square 10
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 9:25am
these ore ships are a stark experience to walk thru , there is one in the duluth harbor open to the public , they are very immpressive in size but look so small comming into the harbor , its not untill they pass under the raised bridge that they take on perspective , and once moving it takes a lot to stop them as was evident in the damage to the sheet pile i inspected where one 'bumped' it ,


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: December 21 2006 at 2:31pm
Hey SQ10, U shoulda been here when the Red Wing hit the Pt.Robinson bridge!!! HOLY COW!!!This was back in oh...'74 0r '75 - if memory keeps.She was upbound in the canal, making for L.Erie.In those days they had "Bridgemasters" on the bridge to raise & lower the Bridge.(Still did till recently). The guy fell asleep on a slow night.Along came the Red Wing..they can't move very fast in the canal - by law.The old man got concerned cause the bridge wasn't going up.(The canal divided Pt.Robinson in those days & the bridge linked the 2 sides).When he got no response on the radio - repeatedly - he blew his horns, dropped ALL 4 anchors & drove full astern.All the noise woke the bridgemaster - who just about crapped himself when he saw this ship bearing down on him(he sat in a house -above the road-in the middle of the bridge) he didn't throw down the barriers or sound the horns - he just went into emergency lift mode.The cars could see what was going on(thank God) & stoped.The guy got about 1/3 up & Red Wing cut right through it!!Knocked the whole damn works into the canal, & it still took 1/4 mile to stop her!!!
They never replaced the bridge & you need a small pontoon ferry to get across the canal now
Hoadie

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 22 2006 at 12:02pm
    There are several theories behind the sinking of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald, but still to this day nothing has been proven.  Since there were no survivors to provide eyewitness accounts, any theory is as plausible as others.  Though research has been conducted and claims made, nothing can provide a definitive reason and cause for the sinking.  The following  lists the most common theories;
 
  1. Bottoming out/grounding.  This could have very well happened near Six Fathom Shoal.

  2. Faulty hatch covers

  3. Another theory, which is very disliked by many Fitz enthusiasts, is that the men may not have properly fastened the series of clamps that were used to hold down all of the the hatches, and therefore water seeped in.

  4. Previous structural damage may have caused the sinking.

  5. Huge waves swamped the ship and it sank.  Many people call these huge waves (so big they are detected by radar) the Three Sisters.

  6. Lack of proper repair from previous damage may have played a role

  7. A huge wave rode up between two swells and the ship snapped in half.

  8. Human error

  9. A wave engulfed the ship, pushing the front of the ship underwater.  The ship then hit ground, and broke in two...this may be why the two portions of the ship are so close.

  10. Waves lifted both ends of the ship (bow and stern), but the center of the ship containing the cargo was not held by a wave, so the overload forced the center downward, sinking and/or breaking the ship in two.



Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: December 22 2006 at 12:07pm

Restoration of the Edmund Fitzgerald's Bell

    

The bell of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was raised in 1995 under the coordination of many organizations.  It was restored before being placed in the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum by http://www.oldsite.msu.edu/bell - Michigan State University .  Below is a summary of the condition of the bell, and the steps that were taken by Michigan State University to restore the bell.  The two photos on this page are provided courtesy of Gail Vander Stoep.

     

Bell's Initial Condition
     Immediately following their removal from the ship, the bell and its stand were in poor condition due to water damage resulting in iron corrosion.  The bell was coated in sulfide, there was heavy rusting, and "Edmund Fitzgerald" was not easily readable on the bell. The bell's stand also had severe corrosion of the iron, and the paint was chipping and in poor condition.
     

Restoring The Bell

To initially clean the bell, rust spots and deposits (iron corrosion) were cleaned with dental picks, and then the sulfide coating was removed with very soft bristle toothbrushes and baking soda.  Following this step, researchers continued using lemon juice and formic acid (found in bee stings).

    After the initial cleaning, sulfide was removed completely by washing the bell in formic acid, revealing a thick coat of rust under the sulfide.  The rust was also removed by wrapping the bell in rags coated by formic acid, and once this step was complete, the bell was washed another time with distilled water and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).  Due to the nature of sulfide, drying the bell with heat caused oxides and chemical residue and remnants to be released, including iron oxide, which was removed through more soaking and scrubbing.  Researchers then transported the bell of the Edmund Fitzgerald to be "power washed" by blasting it with baking soda and distilled water at high pressure.  Soda blasting the outside of the bell successfully removed all remaining tarnish on the bell's surface, and the bell was then buffed several times, ending the cleaning process.

     After cleaning the bell, it was coated with six layers of lacquer, and the same type of paint used originally on the bell's steel was found and used in a repainting.  The repainting was completed by spray painting.
     Finally, incised letters spelling "Edmund Fitzgerald" that appear on the bell in black were added, and the original rope from the bell was used for the bell's clapper.

    

The Restored Bell

     The restored bell weighs approximately 200 pounds and is 21 1/2 inches in diameter at its base.  It is displayed currently on permanent loan at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, which made additional changes to the bell, such as adding the shiny finish which can be seen on the bell today.

     
How the bell is used

The bell is on permanent display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Michigan and is used each November 10th in the bell-ringing ceremony in memoriam of the 29 crewmen of the Edmund Fitzgerald.



Posted By: Tony
Date Posted: December 22 2006 at 7:54pm
Cookie my son you have just given me the germ of an idea for restoring an old enfield . If it works on a bell it'll work on a barrel. Never thought about using formic acid Hydrochloric and Suphuric acid I seriously considered but figured it would be too harsh even in dilute form ie 1 molar.

-------------
Rottie (PitBulls dad.)


“If electricity comes from electrons, does morality come from morons

Born free taxed to death!!!



Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 11 2007 at 4:19am
Originally posted by Tony Tony wrote:

Cookie my son you have just given me the germ of an idea for restoring an old enfield . If it works on a bell it'll work on a barrel. Never thought about using formic acid Hydrochloric and Suphuric acid I seriously considered but figured it would be too harsh even in dilute form ie 1 molar.
 
Tony,
If you try that? let me know how it works???
 
CM


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:07am
Edmund%20Fitzgerald%20Display A replica of the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck site is a major display that is credited as the most accurate exhibit of the wreck site.


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:09am
http://www.lakesuperior.com/online/225/225fitzngbridge.jpg">Diver%20on%20Fitz%20bridge The Bridge


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:13am

http://www.boatnerd.com/digitalshipyard/Edmund-Fitzgerald.jpg">



Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:13am
http://www.boatnerd.com/digitalshipyard/Edmund%20Fitz%20Stern.jpg">


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:13am
http://www.boatnerd.com/digitalshipyard/Edmund-Fitz-Bow.jpg">


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:15am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:16am

Underwater_Edmund_Fitzgerald_poster.jpg%20%2814180%20bytes%29Extremely detailed artwork of the underwater wreck site based on CURV III videos and photos from June 1976 expedition, By Richard W. Sullivan.



Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:21am
 Capt. McSorley & The Edmund Fitzgerald


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 6:25am

http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/nov05/369506.asp">Edmund%20Fitzgerald%20The%20Man http://www.jsonline.com/news/metro/nov05/369506.asp - Edmund Fitzgerald The Man



Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 2:09pm
Hey CM: Where'd ya get the Bell Marine credit? They're right up the road here, in Pt.Colborne.Thats where I USED to buy my Naval Jelly.
As I was tellin ya before -I stumbled across a site that was dedicated to the demise of the Fitz.They were discussin the "3 Sisters".It is noted that the Anderson radioed he had been hit by a series of waves that broke OVER his pilot house..& that pilot house was OVER 35 feet above the water line.Like I said-my Grandfather always said he figgered the 3 sisters got her.
Hoadie

-------------
Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 7:59pm
The Arthur M. Anderson was guiding the Fitzgerald after the doomed ship's radar went down.


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:02pm
Arthur%20M.%20Anderson


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:07pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:09pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:11pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:13pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:15pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:16pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:17pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:19pm
Description:Mrs. Arthur M. Anderson (center), sponsor of the new ore carrier of U.S. Steel's Pittsburgh Steamship fleet, is shown with a number of guests immediately after the launching of the 647-foot carrier at Loraine, O. (February 16.) L-R are W. H. Gerhauser, Potts, Mrs. Anderson, Elmer Hutchisson and J.F. White.


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:21pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:22pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:23pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:24pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:26pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:28pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:29pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:34pm
Check out this vid of the  Edmund Fitzgerald
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SncXr_Sp_CI&mode=related&search - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SncXr_Sp_CI&mode=related&search =


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:35pm
Another Fitz vid
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd_afNaxKTg&mode=related&search - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jd_afNaxKTg&mode=related&search =


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:39pm
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlDEMztTiEA&mode=related&search - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlDEMztTiEA&mode=related&search =
 
Auther M Anderson


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:41pm
1958 vid of the Edmund Fitzgerald
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AWLNGJQ9Kc&mode=related&search - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5AWLNGJQ9Kc&mode=related&search =


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:44pm
Gordon lightfoot Edmund Fitzgerald
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzqiHxpz0bU&mode=related&search - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GzqiHxpz0bU&mode=related&search =


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 12 2007 at 8:45pm
here is a tribute for the Big Fitz by Gordon Lightfoot
 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO0ksppBgT8&mode=related&search - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zO0ksppBgT8&mode=related&search =


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 2:34am
Hey..Is the Anderson still workin? When was she converted to self unloader?
Hoadie

-------------
Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 8:57am
Originally posted by hoadie hoadie wrote:

Hey..Is the Anderson still workin? When was she converted to self unloader?
Hoadie
 
yes she is still hauling ore on the great lakes.
 
CM


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 12:40pm
Originally posted by hoadie hoadie wrote:

Hey..Is the Anderson still workin? When was she converted to self unloader?
Hoadie
 
Hoadie,
1981-1982 winter lay over is when she was converted to auto loader
 
CM


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 12:40pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 12:41pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 12:41pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 12:42pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 12:48pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 12:48pm


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 13 2007 at 12:50pm

The SS Arthur M. Anderson was the vessel that assisted the Edmund Fitzgerald when she lost her radar in the storm.

 

Cookie Monster


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 14 2007 at 5:15am


Posted By: Cookie Monster
Date Posted: January 14 2007 at 5:25am



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