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The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Laurissa Anyas-Weiss, content producer

November 10, 2010 — 'Does anyone know where the love of God goes when the waves turn the minutes to hours...'

Gordon Lightfoot's immortal song of maritime tragedy has kept the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald alive for over 30 years.

November 9, 1975 was a warm day with light winds as the ore carrier, Edmund Fitzgerald left Superior, WI bound for Detroit, MI. Launched in 1958, the Edmund Fitzgerald was, until 1971, the largest ship working the great lakes.

A low developing over Texas moved into the Great Lakes region bringing heavy rains and hurricane force winds. As the storm worsened, the sturdy ship did not seem in any danger. But the winds suddenly shifted from the south to the west causing winds to reach peak speeds.

As she approached Sault Ste. Marie, the Edmund Fitzgerald began to list and take on water. By 7pm on November 10, 1975, the Edmund Fitzgerald had vanished from radar without ever sending a distress call. The ship had sunk taking all 29 crew with her.

As the Gordon Lightfoot song says, the Mariners' Church of Detroit rang its bell 29 times for each of lives lost. The church continues the memorial to this day.

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