42nd Anniversary Of The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald

The Edmund Fitzgerald heads out on to Lake Superior through the Duluth Ship Canal in an undated image. (UWS archives / News-Tribune files)

Friday – Nov. 10, 2017 – is the 42nd anniversary of the wreck of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald in a massive November storm on Lake Superior.

After leaving Superior with a load of taconite, the ship sank on the evening of Nov. 10, 1975, in eastern Lake Superior off Whitefish Point with the loss of all 29 men on board.

I’ve posted archive photos and other information about the Fitzgerald on previous anniversaries, including the 35th. You can view that post here.


Here’s a video that includes marine radio traffic from the hours after the Fitzgerald sank:

And here’s a video set to Gordon Lightfoot’s famous song about the wreck, including photos and film of the ship:

And here’s a News Tribune video from 2011, of the annual memorial ceremony held at Split Rock Lighthouse on the North Shore of Minnesota. The ceremony will be held again Friday afternoon; click here for details:

Share your memories by posting a comment.

6 Responses


    I grew up in Silver Bay and one of the crew members lived across the street from our house. I still have the haunting image in my head of looking out the window at the house, trying to fathom that the children’s father, the wife’s husband was never coming home. The Gordon Lightfoot song always brings me back in time with the same haunting feeling.

  2. David Anderson

    I was 14 when I first heard the song, during a cloudy November evening, listening to the radio while waiting in the car for my grandpa. Ever since then, whenever I hear the song, I remember that evening. The adjective that I have read regarding that song is most always “haunting”. If it weren’t for Gordon Lightfoot, I doubt that I, along with many others, would never have known the story of this shipwreck on Lake Superior.


    I was only 2 years old in 1975 but I can remember my mom and dad crying. I asked why are you crying and my mom said a big ship sank and the crew were lost. Every time I here Gordon Lightfoot sing wreck of the Fitzgerald it brings a tear to my eye.

  4. Jim Nelson

    Quite a night weather wise in Duluth. Of course we (residents) didn’t learn of the shipwreck until morning. Details poured in on the 11th,and went on for days. I had seen the Fitz a few times early on during its trips to and from Duluth. Back in 1975 I believe they were still closing the shipping season on the Great LAkes for the winter. I believe this would have been the last trip for the Fitzgerald for the season and of course it was. Although I didn’t know anyone on the ship when you live in Duluth all the ships whose home port is there seem like they are yours in some way. This was and still is the only ship lost in a Lake Superior storm in my lifetime. Everytime I hear Gordon Lightfoot’s song it really hit my heart for some reason. Although I didn’t experience the sinking I did experience the weather and the waves. I always thought they were magnificent. and a bit scary with their power. Growing up here I always thought the ships were invincible. Nothing could harm them outside a crash. Now I know just what that lake can do if it has a mind too. On a bad weather day in November is a good weather time to visit Duluth just to experience the lake when it gets riiled up.

  5. Cindy Sirois

    , I don’t remember when this happened we heard about it on the news and you just kind of sat and you just waited like it’s a dream right there it’s got to be a dream because we knew people we knew someone that was on the Edmund Fitzgerald. It was a very surreal time.

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