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Edmund Fitzgerald: Thirty-six years gone

Janelle Vreeland

Edmund Fitzgerald

The Edmund Fitzgerald sunk 36 years ago

Thursday marks the 36th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

The Bemidji Pioneer reports that the Edmund Fitzgerald sunk in a violent storm in Lake Superior. The storm that sunk the Edmund Fitzgerald has been ranked as one of the most powerful storms to strike Lake Superior. It had sustained winds of more than 60 mph with wind gusts reaching 85 mph.

Despite a search by the U.S. and Canasdian Cost Guard, the Edmund Fitzgerald and its 29 crew members disappeared in the storm. A year later, in 1976, the ship was located 14 miles from the shores of Canada, just short of the entrance to Whitefish Bay. It was 500 feet below the water’s surface and had broken into two pieces. Most believe that the Fitzgerald sunk after it broke up on the surface and lost its cargo.

Gordon Lightfoot memorialized the ship in “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald,” and the wreck remains the deadliest incident to occur on Lake Superior.

Residents near Whitefish Point, Michigan are invited to visit the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on Thursday for the 16th annual Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service. The service begins at 7 p.m.

Read more about the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald here. Read more about the memorial service here.

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