OT: Anniversary of the Edmund FItzgerald

Submitted by Go.Blue.Hail on November 10th, 2015 at 11:35 AM

Today, November 10th, is the 40th anniversary of the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald. Obviously, the song sprung from the event by the eloquent Gordon Lightfoot is of great importance to our fearless leader Jim Harbaugh.

So, let us remember this tragedy and honor those who lost their lives to the witch of November.


"The wind in the wires made a tattle-tale sound

When the wave broke over the railing

And every man knew, as the captain did too

'Twas the witch of November come stealin."



November 10th, 2015 at 1:03 PM ^

I know, /s, but in actuality, a Columbia grad.

Cool Story Bro: The Mackinac Bridge was specifically designed (by another Columbia grad) with the failure of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in mind, and while successful in that it hasn't twisted itself to death and never will, it requires you not to stop while driving over the grates in heavy wind.


November 10th, 2015 at 12:24 PM ^

Where the love of God goes
When the waves turn the minutes
To hours?"

Stands near the top of the great poignant and moving lyrics of modern music. RIP crew of the Fitz.


November 10th, 2015 at 2:52 PM ^

I drowned and was revived when I was 11.  I couldn't swim and got caught in a slight current that pulled me into a deeper area of a large slow river.  I was incredibily lucky because a woman noticed my head come up three times and disappear.  She pulled me to the shore and administered mouth-to-mouth.

I remember kicking off the bottom to get my head above the water to grab a breath several times, got tired, realized it was pointless and sort of gave up.  I remember thinking how comfortable I felt before passing out (very similar to how I've felt when going under for an operation).  You are lucid at one moment and not the next.

I've never feared the water since.

From what I've read since, my situation was very typical of drowning victims.  Unlike on TV and the movies, people drowning don't wave or scream for help.  They bob up a couple of times and then disappear.


November 10th, 2015 at 1:23 PM ^

The summer of '75 my family sailed from Monroe to Mackinaw and back. Remembered seeing the Fitz' three times on that trip. It was easy to remember as it " was bigger than most" and had a unique name. Very eerie feeling when I had heard it sunk later that year. Can't believe it's been 40 years. Love the song and RIP to the sailors.

Sent from MGoBlog HD for iPhone & iPad


November 10th, 2015 at 1:31 PM ^

The NWS in Marquette has a great feature on the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald as well as map recreations (done with modern techniques) to help everyone see just how terrible that storm was - LINK

It also has a feature on advances in marine forecasting - scientific and technological - since that tragic day and how they are being used to help ships traveling the Great Lakes now. 

The graphics showing wind and wave heights in Lake Superior during the passage of the storm make you think about how terrible that had to be.


November 10th, 2015 at 2:15 PM ^

Back in 1975, I lived in the Soo (what the locals call Sault Ste. Marie) and I recall that on that day I was in 8th grade science class and we were learning about the jet stream.

The science teacher mentioned that we had the unusual happening of a expected major November storm with the jet stream also over head on the same day.

Little did we know what the events of that evening would still be talked about 40 years later.

If you have ever been to the Soo and seen the locks, there is a hill coming up from the locks toward Portage avenue. There is probably around 25-30 feet of elevation between the water and Portage. The winds were so strong that they blew water up the hill to a depth of about a foot on Portage.

At the time, there was no weather channel per se, but on the local cable they did have this channel you could tune in that did nothing but have a camera located at the airport (or maybe Kincheloe AFB) that panned between old school temperature, barometer, and wind speed gauges.

We were at home watching in fascination that channel with the wind speeds pinning the gauge at I believe it was 90 mph with only occasional letups down to maybe 70.

Most of the stop signs in town ended up twisted to align with the prevaling wind direction, and in walking home from school (yes in the Soo we are hardy and don't cancel school) we saw more than one house lose its shingles as we walked by and had various garbage cans bounce down the street.

I would imagine it's as close as MIchigan will ever get to experiencing a hurricane.

Hugh Jass

November 10th, 2015 at 3:38 PM ^

Orillia Ontario - which happens to be the hometown of Gordon Lightfoot.  He is a good friend of my father and I have met Gordon many times (about two dozen times).  Once he was telling my father about the writing of the song Edmund Fitzgerald and his research.  he got very emotional when talking about it.  I remember my father also being very emotional about it.  This was back in the early 1980's - it was very powerful.  To this day listening to that song has a tremendous impact......


November 10th, 2015 at 4:33 PM ^

up near the north channel.   we were becalmed in the channel on an unbelievably hot day, he was tooting his horn like there was no tomorrow and we were paddling our little behinds as fast as we could.   after we got out of the channel we mooned them.   can't resist telling that one again.   what a coincidence. 

oh the shame, the shame...


November 10th, 2015 at 7:10 PM ^

and kept a freighter log of every boat I ever saw while sitting at the ferry dock (frieghters pass about a 100 ft away)
I must have had her logged over a dozen times in 3 years and I think that August was one of my last entries.
Stopped doing it afterwards.