Edmund Fitzgerald Remembering the Legacy: 48 Years Later, Split Rock Lighthouse Honors

A large gathering is anticipated at Split Rock Lighthouse to commemorate the 48th anniversary of Edmund Fitzgerald loss as Friday afternoon fades on the northern shore. Every year on November 10th, there is a memorial service and beacon lighting in remembrance of the 29 people who perished in the Superior storm on November 10, 1975.https://chalkidanews.com/

The Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum states that the biggest Great Lakes bulk carrier was constructed under a contract between the Great Lakes Engineering Works and Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee. The ship Silver Bay, named for the chairman and president of Northwestern Mutual, was launched on June 8, 1958, and it was used to transport taconite from Silver Bay, Minnesota, to the Detroit and Toledo regions.

Up until 1971, the vessel, at 729 feet in length and 13,632 gross tons, was the biggest ship on the Great Lakes. A few miles offshore from Split Rock, the ship passed Superior, Wisconsin, on its way out of state on its last journey.

The weather on November 10 was very bad, with 50 mph gusts and 12 to 16 foot waves. But the captains have experienced such circumstances previously. In an early morning conversation, Captain McSorley informed Captain Cooper of the ship’s damage and requested that Edmund Fitzgerald keep on course until they reached Anderson Whitefish Point.

Around 6:55 a.m., a wave swept over the ship’s stern, sending the following part overboard. Anderson spoke with Fitzgerald for the final time at 7:10 p.m., five minutes before Anderson lost radar contact, confirming the finding of Fitzgerald’s two lifeboats and wreckage, but no survivors.

into the Abyss: The Final Voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald on November 9, 1975

On Thursday, November 9, at around 2:30 pm, the ship, loaded with 26,116 tons of taconite pellets, sailed from Superior, Wisconsin. Fitzgerald was around 15 feet ahead of Anderson, according to the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum. Edmund Fitzgerald was in radio communication with Captain McSorley and Captain Cooper, who joined the expedition after departing from Two Harbors, Minnesota.

The captains made the decision to travel across Lake Superior in order to reach their objective because of the storm’s arrival into the Great Lakes. They traveled between the Keweenaw Peninsula and Isle Royale. At the start of this year, Gordon Lightfoot honored the ship’s and her crew’s losses with a now-iconic song.

Join us for a Special Commemoration at Split Rock Lighthouse Ceremony

After the ceremony, guests are welcome to visit Split Rock Lighthouse until 6 p.m., at which point the lighthouse will activate its beacon. The event is anticipated to draw around 500 people, and the US Coast Guard will have personnel there to talk about lake safety. A live feed will be accessible on the Minnesota Historical Society’s YouTube account and Split Rock Lighthouse’s Facebook page for anyone who are unable to attend.

The lighthouse crew will commemorate the missing seamen once more when they ring the bell for the thirty-first time. This is a sad ritual with special importance as a monument, said site manager Hess Scriven.

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