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Home » Shipping » Swallowed by a single, monstrous wave? The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald

Swallowed by a single, monstrous wave? The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald

PortandTerminal.com, June 21, 2020

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA – On November 10, 1975, at 7:10 pm the last communication from the Edmund Fitzgerald was received by a nearby ship which also caught in the vicious storm that would ultimately sink the Fitzgerald.

The captain of the Arthur M. Anderson radioed the Fitzgerald to notify it of an upbound ship and to ask how she was fairing in the storm.

“We are holding our own.”

Captain McSorley of the Fitzgerald replied, “We are holding our own.” She sank minutes later though. No distress signal was received, and ten minutes later, Arthur M. Anderson lost the ability either to reach Edmund Fitzgerald by radio or to detect her on radar.

The large cargo vessels that worked the Great Lakes are known as lakers, and the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was, at the time, the biggest one ever built. She should have been able to withstand the storm that night on Lake Superior.

What sent her to the bottom of Lake Superior killing all 29 of her crew her has been an enduring mystery.

Captain Bernie Cooper

The wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald lies 530 feet below on the bottom of Lake Superior

Capt. Bernie Cooper was master of the Arthur M. Anderson, just 10 miles behind the Fitzgerald and caught it the teeth of the same storm. It was Capt. Cooper who sent and received the last communication with the Fitzgerald.

“I think it was sudden and catastrophic. The ship just disappeared”

The video animation below shows how Capt. Cooper believes the Fitzgerald sank that night on November 10, 1975.

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