The mystery of what really happened to the ship known as “The Big Fitz” remains just that!
The sinking of the SS Edmund Fitzgerald that sank in a Lake Superior storm on November 10, 1975 with the loss of the entire crew of 29 remains the largest to have sunk there. As we approach the anniversary of that fateful day back in 1975, I mostly have come to the conclusion “Don’t mess with mother nature”. I have watched many documentaries on this final voyage, and I agree with Captain Bernie Cooper, who’s ship ,the SS Arthur M. Anderson, was also running with the Fitzgerald that day. He said this:
“I don’t care what anybody says,” Cooper said in an interview. “At 3:10 in the afternoon, she had either bottomed out or had a stress fracture in the hull. That’s the only two possibilities. She was sinking from that time on.”
Cooper, who knew Great Lakes freighters, said that it was impossible to break a wire fence rail due to a sagging ship, but if the hull was bent backwards, as in an upward thrust, the tension applied to the rail would snap it. McSorley had eventually reported having broken three.
“My theory is the water just finally built up on her, piling up on her bow,” Cooper said, in reference to the two waves that had rolled over the Anderson and pushed its bow under, just before the Fitzgerald disappeared from radar. “Those two seas were the biggest we’d ever seen,” he said. -Captain Bernie Cooper.
No matter what, it remains a mystery and I find myself being taken in by the mystery of this great ship and her crew!
To the family members of the 29 men who died on the Fitzgerald, the reasons the ship sank do not alter nor diminish the loss.