Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Remembering the Edmund Fitzgerald

35 years ago today, the mighty Fitz lost to the gales of November and sank 500 feet down to the bottom of Lake Superior, taking all of her crew with her.

Immortalized in the Gordon Lightfoot song The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, the sinking of the 728-foot long freighter continues to fascinate the public with the sudden loss of the great ship. The current and most probable theory advanced for the sinking of the ship was that she struck a shoal that was incorrectly marked on one of the charts and took on water in the storm and then sank suddenly, with the ship breaking in two as it headed for the bottom.

To commemorate the sinking, The Detroit Free Press has released many previously unpublished photos of the Fitz, including many of the wreck on the bottom taken by submarine during an expedition to the wreck in 1994.

Only two people are known to have dived the Fitzgerald on open circuit SCUBA equipment - Terrence Tysall and Mike Zee in 1995 - at 530 feet, it is an Everest-class dive. To put it in perspective, for a bottom time on the wreck of six minutes, they had three hours and fifteen minutes of decompression in the cold waters of Lake Superior.

So today take a moment and remember the mighty ship the Edmund Fitzgerald and her crew of 29 lost in Lake Superior, 35 years after she's gone.

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