29 lives, 38 years later: The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald

For complete details, read Boatnerd.com’s account.

In memoriam, Gordon Lightfoot released the tragedy of the Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. It received wide-attention and loads of airplay.

As a child, this tragedy struck me deeply. These men knew what was coming. They hoped to return to their families. It was dark. It was cold. They went down* and never came up from Lake Superior. Perhaps because my mother was raised in the UP and regularly criss-crossed the border with Canada, the story may have hit me harder than most other kids in the Ozarks. It happened, basically, where she grew up.

The Great Lakes.

Lake Superior:

Surface Area:  31,700 mi2 / 82,100 km2 

Volume:  2,934 mi3 / 12,230 km3

Length:  350 mi / 563 km

Depth:  489 ft / 149 m average; 1,335 ft / 407 m maximum

Shoreline Length:  2,726 miles / 4,385 km (including islands)

Elevation:  600 ft / 183 m

Outlet:  St. Marys River to Lake Huron

Retention/Replacement Time:  191 years

All hands were lost:

Captain Ernest M. McSorley Michael E. Armagost Fred J. Beetcher Thomas D. Bentsen
Edward F. Bindon Thomas D. Borgeson Oliver J. Champeau Nolan S. Church
Ransom E. Cundy Thomas E. Edwards Russell G. Haskell George J. Holl
Bruce L. Hudson Allen G. Kalmon Gorden Maclellan Joseph Mazes
John H. McCarthy Eugene O’Brien Karl A. Peckol John J. Poviach
James A. Pratt Robert C. Rafferty Paul M. Rippa John D. Simmons
William J. Spengler Mark A. Thomas Ralph G. Walton David E. Weiss
Blaine H. Wilhelm

-from Boatnerd

* Maritime radio traffic from the captain of the ARTHUR M. ANDERSON, which had left port with the EDMUND FITZGERALD.