Edmund Fitzgerald lost 38 years ago when the gales of November came early

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Nov. 10, 2013 is the 38th anniversary of the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald in a massive storm on Lake Superior.

The freighter’s crew of 29 men died when the ship, en route from Superior, Wis. to Detroit, sank near the Upper Peninsula. It was carrying a load of taconite. A little after 7 p.m. that day, the Fitzgerald was in radio contact with a nearby ship when it reported that they were “holding our own” in heavy seas. There was no further contact with the freighter; minutes later the ship disappeared from radar.

The somber anniversary is being remembered by the Duluth News Tribune, which reported that Split Rock Lighthouse will host its annual beacon lighting and memorial service for the victims of the Fitzgerald on Sunday afternoon. A bell will toll 29 times for each man who lost his life on the Fitzgerald, then a 30th time for all lost mariners. Then the lighthouse’s beacon will be lit. The event marks the only time each year when visitors can climb to the top of the lighthouse as the beacon is lit and revolving.

The story was made famous by a ballad written and performed by Canadian singer Gordon Lightfoot, reaching no. 2 on the Billboard pop charts in 1976. The song created widespread interest in the shipwreck; Michigan blogger Ed Vielmetti posts an annual tribute.

The News Herald in suburban Detroit reported that a memorial service is also scheduled Sunday evening at a park in River Rouge. It, too, will feature a tolling bell and at 7:15 p.m., the time the ore carrier disappeared from radar detection, family members of the crew will throw wreaths into the Detroit River. A daughter of the cook on the freighter will travel from Kansas to attend the memorial.

Next Up

Screen Shot 2021-06-20 at 9.21.00 AM

Updates on Minnesotans bidding for spots at the Summer Olympics

St. Paul's Suni Lee could qualify for the U.S. gymnastics team this week.

golf cart

Federal charges: Minnesota man stole 63 golf carts in 7 states

Nathan Rodney Nelson has been federally charged with transportation of stolen vehicles across state lines.

Screen Shot 2020-06-15 at 7.11.05 AM

1 dead, 1 wounded in separate St. Cloud shootings

It was one of two shootings that happened overnight in the city.

Byron Buxton

Buxton, Kepler lead Twins to weekend sweep over Rangers

Kenta Maeda's solid outing on the mound gave the Twins a 4-2 victory.

storm, severe weather

Severe thunderstorm watch issued for south Minnesota, tornadoes possible

The watch area is just to the south of the Twin Cities.

ambulance

10 injured when minivans collide, overturn in west-central Minnesota

The incident occurred at the intersection of County Road 1 and County Road 29 in Kandiyohi County.

William Carlson

Nearly 80 years later, Minnesotan honored for WWII heroism

He defended a sinking passenger ship from a U-boat.

ambulance, crash

Pedestrian fatally struck by driver in Brooklyn Park

The identity of the victim has not been released.

storm, severe weather, shelf cloud

Some storms could pack a punch Sunday afternoon

Widespread severe weather is not expected, but some storms could get feisty.

Related

The Edmund Fitzgerald remembered 37 years after wreck

Saturday marks 37 years since the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975. A crew of 29 men died in the shipwreck. The freighter carrying taconite traveling from Superior to Detroit made its last contact with a nearby ship, the Arthur M. Anderson, a little after 7 p.m. that fateful day. Minutes later, the ship disappeared from radar screens.