Farmall Doctor

Edmund Fitzgerald Nov 10, 1975

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Today we remember the 29 men lost on Lake Superior in 1975. In a terrible storm, their ship, The Edmund Fitzgerald disappeared from the surface after a great fight to make it to safety. When built, she was the biggest, most modern, and arguably one of the best looking ships to ever sail our inland seas.
We also honor those who so bravely searched for her into the next day, knowing that they could easily meet the same fate.
We keep in out hearts and thoughts all of our friends and shipmates who currently sail on the lakes and wish them safe sailing throughout their days.

 

Fitz Memorial.jpg

Fitz route.jpg

Fitz lifeboat.jpg

Fitz bell.jpg

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RIP  I have read that they figure a "rouge wave" swallowed it in an instant.  Scary stuff, I'll stick to my dry land.

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This is very fitting to talk about after late yesterday and last night. We experienced similar weather conditions yesterday and last night (Nov 9 and early Nov 10) as they did on Nov 10 ,1975. I was thinking about this and no way would I want to be out on Lake Huron last night. I also remember going to a wedding reception several years ago on the south shore of Whitefish Bay and looking out and seeing the Prince Farm Wind Turbines on the Ontario side northwest of Sault St Marie. They were so close to land and may have survived if they had put a few more miles behind them and into shallow water.

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I was thinking the same thing, George.  While out on service calls yesterday the Gales of November were definitely upon us!

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Being from Michigan this is near to my heart.   I've been to the point several times and saw the bell.  It's crazy that they were so close to making it but ended up on the bottom.   There are a few documentaries on the fitz.   Very well worth watching.   

May they rip.   The maritime church in Detroit still stands as well.. you can go there by appointment.    

Chris

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darryn, thanks for the reminder. gordon lightfoot's song will be my first song tonight. it really is sad, how close to land they were when they sank.

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Ya the big lake can be glass smothe one day and mean /ugly the next

setting here think about the Fitzgerald and the weather that day compaired to today clear and sunny.

 

Mike

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6 hours ago, ihfarmer1586 said:

RIP  I have read that they figure a "rouge wave" swallowed it in an instant.  Scary stuff, I'll stick to my dry land.

There are quite a few theories, none of which have ever been proven....

 

Fun facts; the ship that was following them that night, the Arthur M Anderson; is still sailing. 

 

The most interesting book I've seen about the Fitzgerald and the sinking was written by Frederick Stonehouse.  Full of information and really makes you think. 

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In reading  Farmall Doctor`s attachment, I see the ship was damaged MANY times before the accident. Severity of damage was not stated but is that common for these ships to have been damaged SO many times?

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MTO, Yes, in the days before bow thrusters only fore or aft motion of the ship could control where the bow (the front) was. It was difficult to be precise during slow maneuvers when in high winds or high current situations. When you get up close to them you can see that there aren't many straight panels left around the water or docking line. The old ships were built to withstand quite a bit of these encounters though.

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8 hours ago, Farmall Doctor said:

Today we remember the 29 men lost on Lake Superior in 1975. In a terrible storm, their ship, The Edmund Fitzgerald

Was hoping that someone would post that Gordon Lightfoot song about that deal.  Thanks again!  

BTW also, had always heard that the storm's vaves battered the cargo openings/doors. 

best, randy

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Last radio message.  

 

"We're holding our own....."  

 

Listened to that song at work.  Do every nov. 10th.   

 

Chris

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Thanks, Randy. Yes, it has been talked about of the waves comprimising the hatch covers. The captain said that the vents to the ballast tanks were comprimised but even if they were all gone the pumps on board could have kept up with that problem. It is possible that some hatch clamps may have worked loose, but with the Fitz having the one piece hatch covers, it is unlikely that they would have caused a catastrophy. The older ships had elescoping covers which had to be tarped to keep sealed. In my own research I have concluded to agree with Captain Cooper of the Anderson that she hit bottom at Six Fathom Shoal and tore a hole in her belly.

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It is estimated that it was at this time, between 7:20 and 7:30 e.s.t. that she went down and disappeared...

This is a very nice tribute video.

 

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Remember the day after that happened , Everybody at work ,we were in shock like set in , were all sailers of sort and all of us knew the perils of being on the lakes.

 I saw Fritzsgerald in Conneaut Harbor unloading ore.  It was a super carrier like the newer  Blough and then Cort .

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I was heading to work on the Missabe railroad and heard on the radio that She had been sunk, totally shocking !! I had seen her at Silver Bay and the Duluth ore docks many times, ships like that don't sink do they! WRONG !!!! Total SHOCK ! The diesel house was quiet that day!

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I always think of this song in November. For one it's our anniversary and the same day the Edmund Fitzgerald went down.

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What were the duties of the different positions?

Captain/1st/2nd/3rd engineers/oiler/deckhand/wheelman

 

or any other ones.

Great videos guys! Thank you. 

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Wheelsman steers the ship.. the Captain never touched the wheel. Wheelsman was in control of the ship whether the Captain was on the bridge or not.. as when Cap went to bed. 1st mate would spell off the Cap and also read charts and plot the course, which was approved by Cap. Chief Engineer oversees all of the mechanicals of the ship and spells out the duties to the other engineers under him... and does a lot of paperwork involved with fuel supply, running the self unloader system, etc. Oiler and Wiper positions were from the old steam days, and their positions are as they are named.. keeping the large number of bearings on the engine well oiled, and wiper, keeping everything clean, which of course keeeps things running smoothly. Deckhands do everything required topside from removing and then securing hatch covers, going ashore to secure mooring lines, chipping ice, scraping, painting, cleaning the cargo holds, etc. They are supervised by the Watchman. Generally, everybody works 4 hours on duty, 4 hours off, around the clock. 

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1 hour ago, Farmall Doctor said:

Wheelsman steers the ship.. the Captain never touched the wheel. Wheelsman was in control of the ship whether the Captain was on the bridge or not.. as when Cap went to bed. 1st mate would spell off the Cap and also read charts and plot the course, which was approved by Cap. Chief Engineer oversees all of the mechanicals of the ship and spells out the duties to the other engineers under him... and does a lot of paperwork involved with fuel supply, running the self unloader system, etc. Oiler and Wiper positions were from the old steam days, and their positions are as they are named.. keeping the large number of bearings on the engine well oiled, and wiper, keeping everything clean, which of course keeeps things running smoothly. Deckhands do everything required topside from removing and then securing hatch covers, going ashore to secure mooring lines, chipping ice, scraping, painting, cleaning the cargo holds, etc. They are supervised by the Watchman. Generally, everybody works 4 hours on duty, 4 hours off, around the clock. 

I always wondered. Thx FD!

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