Having just been to Niagara Falls in the fall of 1975 and seeing a couple of the Great Lakes, I was very fascinated by the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald on November 10, 1975 in Lake Superior. The Big Fitz was an American freighter and was one of the biggest on the Lakes when it was launched in 1958. Less than 20 years later, she'd be at the bottom of Superior, with her 29 crew still on board.
"Big Fitz" was making its last run of the season, loaded with iron ore pellets. A second ship, the Arthur Anderson, was following about 20 miles behind the Fitz. The storm overtook them both. Captain Cooper of the Anderson maintained radio contact with Captain McSorley throughout the storm. Captain McSorley's last words were, 'We are holding our own'.
Various theories have been put forth about what could have caused the invincible ship to go down. Some thought that the ore hatches weren't secured correctly, causing the hold to fill with water. Some thought the ship bottomed out on the shoals approaching Whitefish Bay. Others thought a rogue wave crashed on deck, splitting the ship in half and sinking it.
It's wreckage was found shortly after it went down. In 1995, to mark the 20th anniversary, the ship's bell was brought to the surface, and a new bell installed on the wreck with the names of all who perished. Further dives to the ship are illegal and forbidden.
Finally I leave you with Gordon Lightfoot's haunting ballad from 1976, a song which brings me to tears every time I hear it.