The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

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There are mysteries which man can only guess at, which may only ever truly be solved in part; the SS Edmund Fitzgerald’s sinking is one of them. At the time it was launched in 1958, the 729-foot long, 75-foot wide freighter was the largest ship to ply the Great Lakes. Although, on November 9, 1975 the ship embarked upon what would become its final voyage. She was carrying 26,000 tons of iron ore pellets and bound for Detroit, and though the day was bright, in her path laid great turbulence. On November 10, at 1:00am, the first signs of trouble appeared, and prevailed into the afternoon. As the waves built, luck was neither with the ship nor the crew. At 7:10 PM, Captain McSorley delivered what was to be his final message "We are holding our own." Ten minutes later, the Fitzgerald could neither be raised by radio, nor detected on radar, and no distress signal was received. With that, the ship and crew of 29 men sank to the bottom of Lake Superior. Several expeditions have been mounted to the wreck and have been the subject of some controversy. There are many theories for how the Fitzgerald found itself hundreds of feet below the water; however none of them have been proven indefinitely. One possible cause of this disaster includes the ship crossing the Superior Shoal, with water as shallow as 22 feet. Additionally, the ship may have suffered a stress fracture and broke apart on the surface. Another possibility is that the ship succumbed to the forces of the Three Sisters, a Lake Superior phenomenon, consisting of massive waves. These current theories are merely conjectures, and since each holds the possibility of being true, it cannot yet be determined which one actually is. To begin, one of the most widely accepted ... ... middle of paper ... ...tself 500ft below the water, none of them have been proven indefinitely. Whether the ship crossed the Superior Shoal, with water as shallow as 22 feet; or the ship suffered a stress fracture and broke apart on the surface, there will always be one more possibility regarding the Fitzgerald’s demise. For instance, the sip could have also succumbed to the forces of the Three Sisters, a Lake Superior phenomenon, consisting of massive waves. Ultimately, each of these current theories are merely conjectures, and since each holds the possibility of being true, the cause of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald’s sinking is an ongoing mystery, one that has and will continue to bring about many theories. Finally, as a result of the wreck of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald, the 30 million people who lived next to the great lakes would forever look across their waters with renewed respect.

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