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Edmund "Big Fitz" Fitzgerald

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    Posted: December 19 2006 at 11:40am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303carbine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2006 at 12:31pm
Isn't that the one that sunk in a storm on of the big lakes in Kanuckystan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2006 at 1:09pm
My late Granpa knew the cook. She was a big one.Thats why she stayed in the upper lakes.
My Grandpa used to say he figgered the"three sisters got her" - he may have been right.He told me far as he knew - she was too heavy to make for Whitefish & shoulda put in earlier when he had the chance.I guess it was the Capn's last voyage.he was to retire after this trip.His wife was quite ill & needed him home.
What a shame.
2 weeks before she went down, fella I know (Ray) was on another ship, & the old man on Fitz back her into Ray's ship.Ray figgered the Ole man had lost it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lithgow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2006 at 2:44pm

The cook was a big one?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2006 at 2:56pm
Their certainly a different designed vessel ! I take it the Wheel house was up the front due to the areas they worked in (better visibility ?) Also Hoadie you mention the Three sisters ? Were these a wind that blew in across the lakes?


    Dave 
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                                  The Crew
 
Ernest M. McSorley, 63, Captain
John H. McCarthy, 62, first mate
James A. Pratt, 44, second mate
Michael E. Armagost, 37, third mate
George J. Holl, 60, chief engineer
Edward E. Bindon, 47, first assistant engineer
Thomas E. Edwards, 50, second assistant engineer
Russell G. Haskel, 40, second assistant engineer
Oliver J. Champeau, 51, third assistant engineer
David E. Weiss, 22, deck cadet
Eugene W. O'Brien, 50, wheelman
John J. Poviach, 59, wheelman
John D. Simmons, 60, wheelman
Ransom E. Cundy, 53, watchman
Karl A. Peckol, 55, watchman
 
 
William J. Spengler, 59, watchman
Thomas Bentsen, 23, oiler
Ralph G. Walton, 58, oiler
Blaine H. Wilhelm, 52, oiler
Gordon E. MacLellan, 30, wiper
Robert C. Rafferty, 62, steward
Allen G. Kalmon, 43, second cook
Frederick J. Beetcher, 54, porter
Nolan E. Church, 55, porter
Thomas E. Borgeson, 41, able seaman maintenance man
Joseph W. Mazes, 59, special maintenance man
Bruce L. Hudson, 22, deckhand
Paul M. Riipa, 22, deckhand
Mark A. Thomas, 21, deckhand
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2006 at 9:41pm

On February 1, 1957, Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin contracted Great Lakes Engineering Works (GLEW), of River Rouge, Michigan, to design and build an ore bulk carrier laker for Northwestern. The contract contained the stipulation that the boat be the largest on the Great Lakes. GLEW laid the keel of this boat on August 7th of that year, and some time between then and her christening and launch on June 8, 1958, Northwestern announced their decision to name the boat for their President and Chairman of the Board, Edmund Fitzgerald, whose father had been a lake captain.The completed boat had a capacity of 26,600 tons. Her large cargo hold loaded through twenty-one watertight hatches, each measuring 11'-7" by 54' of 5/16" steel. The boat's engines were originally coal-fired, but would be converted to burn oil during the 1971-72 winter layup. With a length of 729', she met the demanding stipulation of the contract and was the largest boat on the Great Lakes, a record she held until the 1970s, when 1000' lakers first appeared.

Fitzgerald's christening and launch proved troublesome, and some believe that bad luck dogged the boat from the beginning. When Mrs. Fitzgerald went to christen the boat by breaking a champagne bottle over the bow, it took her three swings to break the bottle. Upon launching the vessel in the water, the boat was slightly damaged as it hit the dock, and finally, at the ceremony one of the onlookers suffered a heart attack.

Sea trials for the Fitzgerald began on September 13th, 1958, and Northwestern handed the operation of the boat to the Columbia Transportation Division of the Oglebay Norton Corporation one week later. For the next 17 years Fitzgerald carried taconite from mines near Duluth, Minnesota to iron works in Detroit, Toledo and other ports. Prior to the events of November 9, 1975, she suffered five collisions, running aground in 1969, colliding with the S.S. Hochelaga in 1970 and then striking the wall of a lock later in the same year, hitting a lock's wall again in 1973, and then again the following year. She also lost her bow anchor in the Detroit River in 1974.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 19 2006 at 9:48pm

November 10, 1975 the bulk freighter Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior with all hands. 

The Fitzgerald cleared Superior, Wisconsin, on her last trip on November 9, 1975, with a cargo of 26,116 tons of taconite pellets consigned to Detroit. Traveling down Lake Superior in company with ARTHUR M. ANDERSON of the United States Steel Corporation's Great Lakes Fleet, she encountered heavy weather and in the early evening of November 10th, suddenly foundered approximately 17 miles from the entrance to Whitefish Bay (47 North Latitude, 85 7' West Longitude)

Captain McSorley of the "FITZ" had indicated he was having difficulty and was taking on water. She was listing to port and had two of three ballast pumps working. She had lost her radar and damage was noted to ballast tank vent pipes and he was overheard on the radio saying, "don't allow nobody (sic) on deck." McSorley said it was the worst storm he had ever seen. All 29 officers and crew, including a Great Lakes Maritime Academy cadet, went down with the ship, which lies broken in two sections in 530 feet of water.

 

Surveyed by the U.S. Coast Guard in 1976 using the U.S. Navy CURV III system, the wreckage consisted of an upright bow section, approximately 275 feet long and an inverted stern section, about 253 feet long, and a debris field comprised of the rest of the hull in between. Both sections lie within 170 feet of each other.

The EDMUND FITZGERALD was removed from documentation January, 1976.

The National Transportation Safety Board unanimously voted on March 23, 1978 to reject the U. S. Coast Guard's official report supporting the theory of faulty hatches. Later the N.T.S.B. revised its verdict and reached a majority vote to agree that the sinking was caused by taking on water through one or more hatch covers damaged by the impact of heavy seas over her deck.

This is contrary to the Lake Carriers Association's contention that her foundering was caused by flooding through bottom and ballast tank damage resulting from bottoming on the Six Fathom Shoal between Caribou and Michipicoten Islands.

The U.S. Coast Guard, report on August 2, 1977 cited faulty hatch covers, lack of water tight cargo hold bulkheads and damage caused from an undetermined source.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2006 at 12:36am
Originally posted by Lithgow Lithgow wrote:

The cook was a big one?




NO, you tit! The Fitzgerald was a big one! She was larger than most lakers.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2006 at 12:52am
Davey; the old timer lake sailors talked about Lake Superior as a very mysterious lake.Indian folklore is the same.Shes the deepest freshwater lake in the world(if I remember correctly).On seemingly calm days fierce storms can come from nowhere.
My Grandfather - & his contemporaries - reffered to "The three sisters" that seem to stalk Lake Superior.They appear to be a flurry of 3 big waves that don't seem to fit the pattern of the storm, & are quite large, with no forewarning.The first catches the unsuspecting ship by the bow & tosses her up, the 2nd breaks over her bow when shes riding down the wave - & forces her bow below the surface - creating huge stress midships(& sometimes breaking in two) the 3rd sister keeps her under & floods her out.Or so the lore goes.
Fact is - she is broken.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lithgow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2006 at 3:43am

You SWORE!!!!!!!. Im tellin.

DAVE, DAVE, Hoadie called me a tit.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2006 at 7:47am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: December 20 2006 at 7:53am
Weather map of what caused that storm
 
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