Every year on November 10, the light at Split Rock Lighthouse is lit in memory of the 29 men lost aboard the Edmund Fitzgerald and all the other vessels lost on the Great Lakes.
In 1975, a 729-foot freighter, the Edmund Fitzgerald, left Superior, Wis., headed for Detroit with 26,000 tons of taconite.
Enroute, the ship encountered one of the November gales for which Lake Superior is notorious.
The Nov. 10 storm that doomed the Edmund Fitzgerald was matched perhaps
by the crew's overconfidence in technology and underestimation of the lake's
fury. Although not far from calmer waters when the storm hit, Capt. Ernest
McSorley headed northeast across Lake Superior, seeking what he thought would
be the shelter of the Canadian shore and eventually Whitefish Bay.
Arthur M. Anderson, sailing 10 miles behind the Fitzgerald, soon
received reports that the ship was listing, and at 7:10 p.m. heard Capt.
McSorely's final message: "We're holding our own." The Anderson lost
the Fitzgerald's image on its radar screens at 7:25 p.m.
Additional information about the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald can be found at http://cimss.ssec.wisc.edu/wxwise/fitz.html