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Old 11-14-2013, 08:13 AM   #15
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I chalk it up to a combination of blind luck, the Good Lord helping us, and the robust construction of Navy ships.
Commercial ships are likely built to differing standards, depending on use and where they are licensed....
The Fitzgerald was not even built to commercial standards. It was severely lacking in water tight compartments. In effect, it was build more like a barge than a commercial ship.
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Old 11-14-2013, 09:12 AM   #16
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thanks for sharing- have you ever been to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum.Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum | Edmund Fitzgerald | - Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society
The museum at Whitefish Point is a real must see. It has more material than anywhere I know of on the EF. We have here in Marquette a nice Great Lakes museum as well as a tour of the old lighthouse.

Marquette is one of the busiest ports on Lake Superior. Often we go down to the Ore Dock and watch the Freighters . I always get that errie feeling when I see the Aurthur M Anderson. loading at the dock. The Anderson was the last ship to see the Fitzgerald as they were running together out of Two Harbors , Mn. The common cause around here was the Fitz dove deep and hit bottom , resulting in the break up of the vessel. The UPs south shore all the way to Whitefish bay is dotted with ship wrecks, shallow water in places , and as a result at lest 7 lighthouses from Munsing east.

I live three miles from the shore in Marquette on a Mountain top . We are directly down range to the Lake, which we can see the cliffs of Grand Isle 40 miles away. Superior is truly the greatest of lakes in North America , maybe the world. I feel privileged to live here and be apart of it. ( 35 years ago it was on my bucket list, today I have fulfilled that promise with my new glass abode on top of Dolomite outcroppings , the view is breathtaking)
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:26 AM   #17
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I think I remember reading somewhere that the Edmund Fitzgerald had been lengthened or had some major structural repairs or modifications done and that may have contributed to her sinking.
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:34 AM   #18
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I think I remember reading somewhere that the Edmund Fitzgerald had been lengthened or had some major structural repairs or modifications done and that may have contributed to her sinking.
Wiki makes me look smart. LOL

SS Edmund Fitzgerald - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Increased load lines, reduced freeboard


The USCG increased the Fitzgerald's load line in 1969, 1971, and 1973 to allow 3 feet 3.25 inches (997 mm) less minimum freeboard than the Fitzgerald's original design allowed in 1958.[105] This meant that Fitzgerald's deck was only 11.5 feet (3.5 m) above the water when she faced 35 feet (11 m) waves during the November 10 storm.[156] Captain Paquette of the Sykes noted that this change allowed loading to 4,000 tons more than what the Fitz was designed to carry.[157]
Concerns regarding the Fitzgerald's keel-welding problem surfaced during the time the USCG started increasing her load line.[126] This increase and the resultant reduction in freeboard decreased the vessel's critical reserve buoyancy. Prior to the load-line increases she was said to be a "good riding ship" but afterwards the Fitzgerald became a sluggish ship with slower response and recovery times. Captain McSorley said he did not like the action of a ship he described as a "wiggling thing" that scared him. The Fitzgerald's bow hooked to one side or the other in heavy seas without recovering and made a groaning sound not heard on other ships.[126]

Maintenance


NTSB investigators noted that the Fitzgerald's prior groundings could have caused undetected damage that led to major structural failure during the storm, since Great Lakes vessels were normally drydocked for inspection only once every five years.[139] It was also alleged that when compared to the Fitzgerald's previous captain, McSorley did not keep up with routine maintenance and did not confront the mates about getting the requisite work done.[126] After August B. Herbel, Jr., president of the American Society for Testing and Materials, examined photographs of the welds on the Fitzgerald, he stated, "the hull was just being held together with patching plates." Other questions were raised as to why the USCG did not discover and take corrective action in its pre-November 1975 inspection of the Fitzgerald given that her hatch coamings, gaskets, and clamps were poorly maintained.[158]
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Old 11-14-2013, 11:52 AM   #19
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Being as I spent over 30 years living in Detroit.....
My daughter's Godfather recalls when the Fitzgerald sank and the bell at the Old Mariner's Church. He says that is a bell that has a very "haunting" sound, The sound of Death.

That is the church (on Jefferson Ave) that is called "The Maritime Sailors Cathedral" in the song.

I very much like that song and the performer who wrote it.
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Old 11-14-2013, 07:01 PM   #20
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Great thread and posts! Thanks for sharing all of that additional information. We took our kids (in high school at the time) to Lake Superior several years ago and I just about drove them crazy singing that song and telling them the story. I didn't know near the details that you all filled in for me. Thanks again.
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Old 11-15-2013, 08:51 AM   #21
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Great thread and posts! Thanks for sharing all of that additional information. We took our kids (in high school at the time) to Lake Superior several years ago and I just about drove them crazy singing that song and telling them the story. I didn't know near the details that you all filled in for me. Thanks again.

Gordon Lightfoot is my all time folk/country writer and singer.. I have a friend who grew up with Gorde, as they called him , on the streets of Toronto. There is little doubt He will go down as the best song writer in modern times.I have copy of everything He released, since I first saw him over 40 years ago in concert ( Chicago ) I went to one of his concerts in Sault Ste Marie , ON. last year. He is showing his age , maybe a bit more than a lot of us, very thin and has had some serious illness. He lives in a Toronto Suburb w / his girlfriend these days.

On another note , personal , I remember camping on the far eastern tip of the U P Keweenaw Peninsula accessible by jeep trail , and watching the Freighters go by off shore. It was the summer of 1977 I think, as we sat around our camp fire listening to " The Wreck" being played on our portable stereo....and in the distance the lights of the Freighters, a special night to remember...for me..
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Old 11-15-2013, 12:53 PM   #22
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As I recall she lost a couple of hatch covers during the storm too. I heard at one time they tried to blame the sinking on the deck hands because they did not get the covers tight. Most catastrophes are the blame of many events coming together. The captain of the other ship that was fallowing them (The Anderson) was sure they grounded that night because the deck railing was down.
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Old 11-16-2013, 02:09 AM   #23
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Gordon Lightfoot is my all time folk/country writer and singer.. I have a friend who grew up with Gorde, as they called him , on the streets of Toronto. There is little doubt He will go down as the best song writer in modern times.I have copy of everything He released, since I first saw him over 40 years ago in concert ( Chicago ) I went to one of his concerts in Sault Ste Marie , ON. last year. He is showing his age , maybe a bit more than a lot of us, very thin and has had some serious illness. He lives in a Toronto Suburb w / his girlfriend these days.

On another note , personal , I remember camping on the far eastern tip of the U P Keweenaw Peninsula accessible by jeep trail , and watching the Freighters go by off shore. It was the summer of 1977 I think, as we sat around our camp fire listening to " The Wreck" being played on our portable stereo....and in the distance the lights of the Freighters, a special night to remember...for me..
I have to agree with yu here, he is one of the great balladeers of our time if not all time, Gord has written many wonderful songs over the years, he must have been one of the travelling newsmen of yesteryear in a past life
He is a true 'storyteller'.
He is 75 tomorrow and has been recorded by many famous singers!
Read here....

Gordon Lightfoot - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 11-16-2013, 06:10 AM   #24
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Thanks Caveman...:(
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