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Old 05-09-2000, 11:23 PM   #1
jay
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I have always been interested in ships and shipwrecks since I was little. Especially from where I'm from, the Great Lakes. I never heard of the Fitz until I was 10 when I heard this song called The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I really liked the song and that's how I started to listen to Gordon Lightfoot and all of his songs. And that's when I began my long research on the Fitz.I have never knew soo much about her! That's when I heard of the Coast Guard in a Fitzgerald book and now after graduating high school this May 20, I will start my career in the CG in August. All of this started with Gordon Lightfoot's song! So does any one have a lot of knowledge on the Fitz? I can't stop reading about her! How do you think caused her to go the bottom? I think the shoals started a lot of it. So what do you think sank her?

If it wasn't for lovesick sailor's there'd be nothin' left but flotsam
________
Harley-Davidson FLHR

Last edited by jay; 01-23-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 05-09-2000, 11:23 PM   #2
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I have always been interested in ships and shipwrecks since I was little. Especially from where I'm from, the Great Lakes. I never heard of the Fitz until I was 10 when I heard this song called The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. I really liked the song and that's how I started to listen to Gordon Lightfoot and all of his songs. And that's when I began my long research on the Fitz.I have never knew soo much about her! That's when I heard of the Coast Guard in a Fitzgerald book and now after graduating high school this May 20, I will start my career in the CG in August. All of this started with Gordon Lightfoot's song! So does any one have a lot of knowledge on the Fitz? I can't stop reading about her! How do you think caused her to go the bottom? I think the shoals started a lot of it. So what do you think sank her?

If it wasn't for lovesick sailor's there'd be nothin' left but flotsam
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Old 05-10-2000, 12:33 AM   #3
paradoxides
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I would suggest going to this site, there is some very interesting info. here... http://home.europa.com/~random7/
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Old 05-10-2000, 12:33 AM   #4
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I would suggest going to this site, there is some very interesting info. here... http://home.europa.com/~random7/
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Old 05-10-2000, 12:48 AM   #5
Florian
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Hi joebigfitz_75,

Have you seen my page about the Wreck:

Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

It has a lot of links to interesting websites.
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Old 05-10-2000, 07:02 AM   #6
Jenney
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What makes any ship go down? What draws a any man or women to the water, knowing full well just what the risks of her unpredictiability will be?I believe that some of us are called to the water.That the wind that rides above her so magestically, knows us by name.There is no such thing as coincidence.Each thing that happens in our lives happens for a reason and like those men on board each person we meet in our lives is meant to be there for a specific reason although that reason may not show itself until long after our passing.

Do you know the song Lock Keeper by another Canadian great Stan Rogers or his vintage White Squall.Both these songs may hold answers for you.Likewise his song The Mary Ellen Carter about the rising of a boat that sank many years ago.Some men wander through life and never seek answers.Only those duly blessed , do
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Old 05-10-2000, 07:02 AM   #7
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What makes any ship go down? What draws a any man or women to the water, knowing full well just what the risks of her unpredictiability will be?I believe that some of us are called to the water.That the wind that rides above her so magestically, knows us by name.There is no such thing as coincidence.Each thing that happens in our lives happens for a reason and like those men on board each person we meet in our lives is meant to be there for a specific reason although that reason may not show itself until long after our passing.

Do you know the song Lock Keeper by another Canadian great Stan Rogers or his vintage White Squall.Both these songs may hold answers for you.Likewise his song The Mary Ellen Carter about the rising of a boat that sank many years ago.Some men wander through life and never seek answers.Only those duly blessed , do
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Old 05-10-2000, 10:07 AM   #8
jay
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Dear Florian and Pirate Queen,
Those sites are pretty cool, lots of info. on her. It's just wierd how I am going to the Coast Guard and it all basically started from Gordon's song! I can't wait 'till I get my hands on that motor life boat
________
Suzuki RM85

Last edited by jay; 01-23-2011 at 08:34 AM.
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Old 05-10-2000, 10:07 AM   #9
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Dear Florian and Pirate Queen,
Those sites are pretty cool, lots of info. on her. It's just wierd how I am going to the Coast Guard and it all basically started from Gordon's song! I can't wait 'till I get my hands on that motor life boat
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Old 05-10-2000, 11:20 AM   #10
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As far as what actually caused the sinking, I would agree that running over the shoal was probably the fatal mistake and that the rest of the story proceeded from that. Florian's page here does a nice job of things getting you to the most important sites.

The eerie thing to me is that after years of expert investigation that the answer is still "She might have broke up or she may have capsized; She may heave broke deep and took water." Those lines were written a little over two weeks after the incident.

Best of luck in the Coast Guard.
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Old 05-10-2000, 11:20 AM   #11
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As far as what actually caused the sinking, I would agree that running over the shoal was probably the fatal mistake and that the rest of the story proceeded from that. Florian's page here does a nice job of things getting you to the most important sites.

The eerie thing to me is that after years of expert investigation that the answer is still "She might have broke up or she may have capsized; She may heave broke deep and took water." Those lines were written a little over two weeks after the incident.

Best of luck in the Coast Guard.
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Old 05-10-2000, 02:32 PM   #12
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Interestingly enough, someone posted a message on the Lightfoot newsgroup a few days ago about a website dedicated to I believe, great lakes nautical history and I posted a reply, speculating on another possible cause of the Edmund Fitzgerald's sinking. I've posted that reply, as well as the orignal message below.

Original post: "Today in Great Lakes History-May 1.
The Edmund Fitzgerald collided with the Canadian steamer Hochelaga at the mouth of the Detroit River, May 1, 1970, suffering slight damage at hatches 18 and 19."

And my reply: "Wow, hmmmm is right. That last sentence really makes one think. I know that hatch covers have long been one of the primary suspects in the sinking of this great vessel. I believe that the Discovery channel special mentioned that some folks had concluded that the crew was negligent in making sure those covers were sealed properly. Of course, many who knew the members of the Fitz's crew refute that idea, saying that these men would never have been derelict in their duties. I believe that inspection of the wreck in recent years has uncovered marked stress and warping of the covers, which has caused some to theorize that they were not tightened well enough. However, the collision with the steamer and subsequent damage to the hatch covers could explain alot of things and exhonerate the crew. Perhaps the "slight damage" was more severe then first realized. I don't know if repairs where made, but I would assume so. However, if the damage was underestimated to begin with, then its quite possible that not enough restoration was done. I wonder if this great ship sailed for the next five years with the equivalent of a ticking time bomb, the detonator being the storm that she sailed into November 10 of 1975. Yes, hmmmm..certainly is the word(if that is a word) that comes to my mind."
Erica
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Old 05-10-2000, 02:32 PM   #13
Sundreme
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Interestingly enough, someone posted a message on the Lightfoot newsgroup a few days ago about a website dedicated to I believe, great lakes nautical history and I posted a reply, speculating on another possible cause of the Edmund Fitzgerald's sinking. I've posted that reply, as well as the orignal message below.

Original post: "Today in Great Lakes History-May 1.
The Edmund Fitzgerald collided with the Canadian steamer Hochelaga at the mouth of the Detroit River, May 1, 1970, suffering slight damage at hatches 18 and 19."

And my reply: "Wow, hmmmm is right. That last sentence really makes one think. I know that hatch covers have long been one of the primary suspects in the sinking of this great vessel. I believe that the Discovery channel special mentioned that some folks had concluded that the crew was negligent in making sure those covers were sealed properly. Of course, many who knew the members of the Fitz's crew refute that idea, saying that these men would never have been derelict in their duties. I believe that inspection of the wreck in recent years has uncovered marked stress and warping of the covers, which has caused some to theorize that they were not tightened well enough. However, the collision with the steamer and subsequent damage to the hatch covers could explain alot of things and exhonerate the crew. Perhaps the "slight damage" was more severe then first realized. I don't know if repairs where made, but I would assume so. However, if the damage was underestimated to begin with, then its quite possible that not enough restoration was done. I wonder if this great ship sailed for the next five years with the equivalent of a ticking time bomb, the detonator being the storm that she sailed into November 10 of 1975. Yes, hmmmm..certainly is the word(if that is a word) that comes to my mind."
Erica
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Old 05-10-2000, 03:50 PM   #14
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That sounds like a good theory to me. The thing is, hatches 18 and 19 are on top of cargo hold #3. Which is the aft cargo hold. She took a nose dive into the lake, which most likely means, she had water in the forward cargo hold. If she had water in the aft section, she would most likely have her decks awash when she beagn to sink. It wouldn't have been a nose dive, instead she would have started to go down in the stern. And the wreck can't prove that. If that happened, McSorely (captain) would have seen the stern go down and would probably have time to call a distress. It is possible though.
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Old 05-10-2000, 03:50 PM   #15
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That sounds like a good theory to me. The thing is, hatches 18 and 19 are on top of cargo hold #3. Which is the aft cargo hold. She took a nose dive into the lake, which most likely means, she had water in the forward cargo hold. If she had water in the aft section, she would most likely have her decks awash when she beagn to sink. It wouldn't have been a nose dive, instead she would have started to go down in the stern. And the wreck can't prove that. If that happened, McSorely (captain) would have seen the stern go down and would probably have time to call a distress. It is possible though.
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Old 05-11-2000, 08:00 PM   #16
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quote:Originally posted by Sundreme:
I believe that the Discovery channel special mentioned that some folks had concluded that the crew was negligent in making sure those covers were sealed properly. Erica

As I remember that Discovery Channel special those 'some folks' was the official board of inquiry which investigated the sinking. They could find no other cause so they blamed the hatch covers!

On the History Channel I remember watching a series on shipwrecks and they did the Yarmouth Castle. That shipwreck was a sin...trapped people burned to death before the eyes of the survivors in life boats, the captain taking off in 'his' lifeboat... and of course GL waxed it all in his song.

JUST AMAZING!!!!

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Old 07-06-2000, 10:37 AM   #17
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The Discovery Channel is rebroadcasting its documentary on the Edmund Fitzgerald. I have a link to their schedule on the main page of my web site (URL below). I've never seen them broadcast it so often in one month - perhaps the fact that this year is the 25th anniversary has something to do with it!

------------------
Valerie Magee

Visit my GL web site at gordonlightfoot.com
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Old 07-09-2000, 06:01 PM   #18
LouiseAnne
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National Geographic Magazine did an article on The Great Lakes many years ago and surprisingly, the Edmund Fitzgerald was mentioned. There was even a photograph of it. (Sorry, guys, I couldn't even BEGIN to tell the date of that issue. I came across it by accident.) But the interesting thing about it was the article stated that of all the speculation that has been done about the ship, Gord's song is the closest the Coast Guard, et al has been able to come to the truth of what really happened. Kind of interesting.

I was surprised to read that one of you heard that it had collided with another ship. I'm sure that's possible, but you'd kind of think Gord might have put that in his song. He just says, "At seven p.m. the main hatchway caved in ...." If he knew that it happened at seven p.m., then he would probably have known if they collided with another ship.

Also in the Discovery Channel special, they made no mention of a collision. According to them, the Edmund Fitzgerald and another ship were making the same trip and the other ship made it to safety. The two captains were communicating back and forth across the radio and the last communication the other ship received from the Edmund Fitzgerald was "We're okay."

Kind of gives you shivers, doesn't it?

If you get a chance to see that Discovery Channel special, make it a must-see. It was REALLY good.

Stay loose, eh?

LAMS

------------------
"Love and maple syrup
go together like the
sticky winds of winter
when they meet....
If you go into the forest
Gaze up through the trees
The sky is white.
You can understand
What makes the forest
Greet the man
Like a mother's only
child ..."
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Old 07-09-2000, 06:01 PM   #19
loveandmaplesyrup
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National Geographic Magazine did an article on The Great Lakes many years ago and surprisingly, the Edmund Fitzgerald was mentioned. There was even a photograph of it. (Sorry, guys, I couldn't even BEGIN to tell the date of that issue. I came across it by accident.) But the interesting thing about it was the article stated that of all the speculation that has been done about the ship, Gord's song is the closest the Coast Guard, et al has been able to come to the truth of what really happened. Kind of interesting.

I was surprised to read that one of you heard that it had collided with another ship. I'm sure that's possible, but you'd kind of think Gord might have put that in his song. He just says, "At seven p.m. the main hatchway caved in ...." If he knew that it happened at seven p.m., then he would probably have known if they collided with another ship.

Also in the Discovery Channel special, they made no mention of a collision. According to them, the Edmund Fitzgerald and another ship were making the same trip and the other ship made it to safety. The two captains were communicating back and forth across the radio and the last communication the other ship received from the Edmund Fitzgerald was "We're okay."

Kind of gives you shivers, doesn't it?

If you get a chance to see that Discovery Channel special, make it a must-see. It was REALLY good.

Stay loose, eh?

LAMS

------------------
"Love and maple syrup
go together like the
sticky winds of winter
when they meet....
If you go into the forest
Gaze up through the trees
The sky is white.
You can understand
What makes the forest
Greet the man
Like a mother's only
child ..."
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Old 07-13-2000, 11:33 AM   #20
Jez
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L.A.M.S. The Fitz did collide with another ship...not on the night she sank...but years earlier. I believe thats what was written in the posting you read.

------------------
The house you live in will never fall down, if you pity the stranger that stands at your door.....GL
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Old 07-13-2000, 11:33 AM   #21
Bob from Westphalia, Mich
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L.A.M.S. The Fitz did collide with another ship...not on the night she sank...but years earlier. I believe thats what was written in the posting you read.

------------------
The house you live in will never fall down, if you pity the stranger that stands at your door.....GL
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Old 07-13-2000, 11:37 AM   #22
Jez
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L.A.M.S. Also, not to be picky, but the final tranmission from the Fitz was "We're holding our own"...not "We're OK". I'll shut up now before I make an enemy !

------------------
The house you live in will never fall down, if you pity the stranger that stands at your door.....GL
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Old 07-13-2000, 11:37 AM   #23
Bob from Westphalia, Mich
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L.A.M.S. Also, not to be picky, but the final tranmission from the Fitz was "We're holding our own"...not "We're OK". I'll shut up now before I make an enemy !

------------------
The house you live in will never fall down, if you pity the stranger that stands at your door.....GL
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