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  1. #1
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    Default The Search for the truth of the loss of the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald

    SHINING A LIGHT ON HIDDEN TRUTHS
    In the recent past I do recall that President George Walker Bush spoke of a "THOUSAND POINTS OF LIGHT" to further the progress of our great country. My interpretation of his intent was that the generation of such light should come from our able citizenry, and mainly through daily contributions in thought, word and deed to our society…and most notably in the form of volunteerism.
    Many of us have responded and experienced success or failure, together with criticism having either justified or unjustified bases. In the latter case, some unwarranted criticism has been based on rumor filling a vacuous state of disinformation and a general lack of appreciation regarding our motivational goals…especially when directed at our volunteer group known as CASUALTY RESEARCH ASSOCIATES (CRA). We are composed of senior citizens and other having comprehensive technical credentials and experience in the maritime field and, as retirees of sound mind, we have freedom of thought and action unrestricted by management constraints affecting income and tenure.
    While one of our initial goals was to develop an objective three-part "cradle-to-the-grave" historical documentary covering the development, construction and operation of S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD, our investigatory efforts have experienced considerable difficulty for reasons not fully expressed by knowledgeable persons ranging from the shipyard tradesmen to executive and government regulatory levels. (i.e. "Gag" orders prevalent).
    Based on these circumstances our original investigatory scope has been expanded to encompass "We don't know what we didn't know" avenues that have led to startling legerdemain discoveries in our self-motivated search for truth.

  2. #2
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    About the Ship

    The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald was conceived as a business enterprise of the Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Northwestern Mutual contracted with Great Lakes Engineering Works of Ecorse, Michigan to construct a "maximum sized" Great Lakes bulk carrier. Her keel was laid on August 8, 1957 as Hull No. 301.
    Inside the S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald
    The FITZGERALD was a conventional "straightdecker" Great Lakes bulk cargo vessel. It was 729 feet long, 75 feet in breadth, 39 feet in depth, 13,632 gross tons, and 8,686 net tons. It was propelled by a 7,500-hp, steam turbine and was built as Hull 301 at Great Lakes Engineering Works, River Rouge, Michigan, in 1958. The vessel was owned by Northeastern Mutual Life Insurance Company and operated by the Columbia Transportation Division of the Oglebay Norton Company.
    S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald Hull 301
    4,000 ft of cracking was detected in the keelson and frames
    Some 4,000 ft. of cracking was detected in the keelson and frame connection to the shell plating; however, during the winter layup of 1968-1969, this condition was look at and a minimum redesign and repair was done to get a coast guard approval to get the boat back in service that year. Each year the cracking came back.The mud layer in the bottom of the ballast tanks would make it hard to inspect for this problem each year.
    Minimum Required Freeboard

    3 ft. 3 1/4" Deeper than 1958 design
    Long Ton = 2,240 lbs.
    135 Tons = 302,400 lbs.
    5,366.25 Tons = 12,020,400 lbs.



    1969 Minimum required freeboard is reduced by the American Board of Shipping (ABS)

    1971 Freeboard is again reduced by ABS

    1973 Freeboard is again reduced by ABS. The S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald can now legally carry enough cargo to sit 3 feet 3 1/4 inches lower in the water than was considered safe when she was launched. (4,421.5 tons more.) The shipping industry standard for shipments of coal is the net ton (2,000 lbs or 907.2 kgs). Other bulk commodities use the gross ton (2,240 lbs / 1,016 kgs) or metric tonne (1,000 kgs / 2,204.6 lbs).
    Today the wreckage of the Edmund Fitzgerald lies
    in 530 feet of water in eastern Lake Superior. The exact
    cause of the sinking is now understood. One
    popular theory has the ship taking on water and
    having the hull ripped open while steaming in shallow
    waters near 6-fathom shoals. Another claims the ship’s
    4000 ft. of bottom welds was broken and had unloading damage to the cargo bottom
    whitch allowed water to enter into the cargo holds while plowing through the 30-foot west wind and west waves.

  3. #3
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    S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD:
    Requiem for the Toledo Express; A Search for Truth
    By Raymond Ramsay M.Sc.

    A review by Thom Holden, Director
    Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, Duluth, Minnesota


    This is a “must read” book for anyone more than casually interested in the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, lost November 10, 1975, on Lake Superior. Historians are always trying to get back to the beginning and talk with witnesses and participants in the making of history. In the case of the Edmund Fitzgerald's loss with all 29 persons on board, we cannot go back to that night to gather their individual accounts of the loss.
    However, we can go even further back in time right to the design and construction of the vessel itself at the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse, Michigan, and learn from a young, but experienced naval architect trained in England and Canada. That person is the author of this book, Raymond Ramsay. He was there working on the Fitzgerald from keel laying to launch to sea trails and beyond.
    Now an elder statesman among naval architects with a distinguished career, Ramsay reveals his thoughts and experiences about the vessel's design, construction, materials, shipyard practices, and more in this fascinating book. Unfettered by the potential of employer retribution and with a lifetime of experience, Ramsey dares to explore many of the unstated questions which have lingered in the shadows of the Edmund Fitzgerald's mystique. Ramsay's ideas are original, yet formed and tested in the give and take of fellow experts, all part of Casualty Research Associates (CRA).
    Ramsay notes a strong sense of “keeping to the company line” among the industry and its overseers throughout the investigation. The pre-investigation conclusion was that this casualty was an “Act of God” and totally unforeseeable at the time. He believes there is enough factual evidence gathered in the decades since the casualty and the incomplete nature of the official investigations by the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board to provide legal cause to reopen the investigation, a request which must come from the families who are often bound by commitments made at the time they made financial settlements back in the 1970s.

    Ramsay does not portend that he or this book asked all the right questions nor found all the best answers. Still, it is the only reference available from someone who really was there right from the beginning; someone who saw the daily construction, was onboard during sea trials, and kept a close eye on the vessel from beginning to end and beyond.

  4. #4
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    Six-Fathom Shoal Updates
    During a taped conversation with his office, which was made a part of the record, the ANDERSON’s master stated that the FITZGERALD "passed right over that 6-fathom spot." The Canadian Hydrographic Service survey shows the water depth at this charted "6- fathom spot". If the FITZGERALD, whose draft was more than 27 feet, had passed through this position on a course plan later that day of 141 T the vessel would have had to pass over the north tip of Caribou Island and through an area where the depth is less than 21 feet.
    During a taped conversation with his office, which was made a part of the record, the ANDERSON’s master stated that the FITZGERALD "passed right over that 6-fathom spot."
    Listen

    "Revise Lake Survey Chart No. 9 showing the areas between Michipicoten Island and Caribou Island in Lake Superior to reflect the findings of the survey performed by the Canadian Hydrographic Service. (Class II, Priority Action) 01—78—33)
    .S. Edmund Fitzgerald Draft Marks = 1" = 135 Tons per inch of draft
    6" Repainted draft mark = 810 tons of taconite ore
    Zug Island VIDEO

    Weight of one Taconite pellet = .009 lbs.
    1 - US Cup full of Taconite pellets holds = 150 count.
    1 - US Cup full of Taconite pellets weight = 1,35 lbs.
    1 - US Cup full of Taconite pellets holds 1/3 cup of water in void spaces.
    Typ. Size of one Taconite pellets is = 1/2" Dia.
    112 Count of Taconite pellets has a weight of 1 Lbs

    Before 1883 all hydrographic work in Canada was carried out by the British Admiralty under an arrangement whereby, after Confederation, Canada was assessed with half the cost. We have already made a brief mention of Admiral Bayfield who, as Admiralty Surveyor, had spent forty years in the making of Canadian charts before his retirement in 1856. There were few sections along the principal shipping routes from Halifax to the Lakehead which had not been charted under his personal supervision, and "Bayfield Charts" were highly valued by the shipmasters of the day. In course of time, with the increase in numbers and size of steamer traffic on the Great Lakes, the Bayfield charts became inadequate and out of date and, in the late seventies, the Department of Marine and Fisheries began to receive complaints.
    Columbia Transportation Division, the operator of the FITZGERALD, conducted an independent hydrographic survey of the shoal area north of Caribou Island. Water depths were determined by sonic devices, lead line, and direct measurement by divers. The results of this survey show water depths that vary slightly from the Canadian survey. These differences can be attributed to the rocks and boulders on the bottom and the various tracklines on which soundings were recorded.
    The position of FITZGERALD relative to that of ANDERSON cannot be reconstructed. Information available is based on the recollections of the Master and Watch Officers on ANDERSON, since the relative position of FITZGERALD was observed intermittently on the radar, but not recorded. Testimony on these observations is inconsistent.
    Despite many people accepting this as the most likely scenario for the sudden list and deck damage, the photographic evidence for such a grounding may exist. Every expedition to the freighter has reported that there is some scraping, gouging or damage to the rudder or propeller, which should show on the overturned bottom of the stern. Diving expeditions on the shoals soon may find new evidence of groundings by a ship.

  5. #5
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    Data: For Probable Trackline
    CRA Hydrography Service 2010
    Converting Latitude/Longitude Coordinates
    Chart
    Fractions of degrees are broken down into minutes and seconds. Each minute represents 1/60th of a degree and each second represents 1/60th of a minute (or 1/3600th of a degree). Below are the steps of converting from an angle in degrees-minutes-seconds to decimal degrees and back to degrees-minutes-seconds.
    Converting Degrees, Minutes, Seconds to Decimal Format
    latitude and longitude in a decimal format: 46.9972
    latitude and longitude in degree, minute, second format: 46deg, 59min, 50sec
    To convert coordinates from degrees, minutes,
    seconds format to decimal format, use this easy formula:
    degrees + (minutes/60) + (seconds/3600)
    The example coordinate above would be calculated as:

    46 + (59/60) + (50/3600) = 46.9972
    or
    46 + (.9833) + (.0139) = 46.9972

    The vessel had a 860,950-cubic-foot cargo hold divided by two nonwatertight transverse "screen" bulkheads.
    The FITZGERALD was carrying about 26,116 long tons of National Taconite Pellets. Taconite pellets are manufactured by a process known as "oxide pelletizing.Taconite pellets weigh from 127 to 140 pounds per cubic foot, will absorb approximately 8 to 9 pounds (6 to 7 percent by weight) water per cubic foot, can contain up to 27.5 pounds of water in the interstitial void spaces in each cubic foot of pellets, and exhibit an angle of repose (the angle between the horizontal and the slope of a freestanding pile of the material) of approximately 260 either wet or dry.
    On November 9, 1975, the S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD began loading 26,116 long tons of taconite pellets at Burlington Northern Railroad Dock No. 1 in Superior, WI.
    Drafts were taken after receipt of the taconite pellets and 50,013 gallons of No. 6 fuel oil, delivered by a barge which came alongside while the taconite pellets was being loaded.
    Cylinder Water Tanks was also part of the ship weight.

    Taconite

    Weight of one Taconite pellet = .009 lbs.
    1 - US Cup full of Taconite pellets holds = 150 count.
    1 - US Cup full of Taconite pellets weight = 1,35 lbs.
    1 - US Cup full of Taconite pellets holds 1/3 cup of water in void spaces.
    Typ. Size of one Taconite pellets is = 1/2" Dia.
    112 Count of Taconite pellets has a weight of 1 Lbs.
    The Question:

    There is 860.950-cubic-foot of cargo space in the Fitz.
    The Fitz was carrying about 26,116 long tons of National Taconite Pellets.
    Taconite pellets weight from 135 pounds per cubic foot, will absorb approximately 8 to 9 pounds (6 to 7 percent by weight) water per cubic foot, can contain up to 27.5 pounds of water in the interstitial void spaces in each cubic foot of pellets.
    The Fitz was capable of carrying 27,500 tons.
    Facts:
    1 cu. ft. Taconite = 135 lbs. and has 15,120 pellets per cu. ft.
    26,116 tons = 58,499,840 lbs X 112 pellets per lbs =
    6,551,982,080 Taconite pellets on board the Fitz when fully loaded.

    Note:
    The shipping industry standard for shipments of coal is the net ton (2,000 lbs or 907.2 kgs). Other bulk commodities use the gross ton (2,240 lbs / 1,016 kgs) or metric tonne (1,000 kgs / 2,204.6 lbs). All tonnage figures used here are the gross ton unless otherwise noted.



    Type in 6,551,982,080 - to see how to pronounce the total amount of Taconite pellets for 26,116 tons. (Ship's capable of carrying)







    Fitz Taconite Cargo - Number Pronounciator
    Please enter a number and see how to pronounce it.


    Edmund Fitzgerald was loaded with 26,116 tons of Taconite.
    26,116 X 2240 X 112 = Total amount of Taconite pellets.
    Type in 6,551,982,080
    Six billion, five hundred and fifty-one million, nine hundred and eighty-two thousand and eighty.
    Process for Converting Latitude/Longitude Coordinates:
    D = Degrees
    M = Minutes
    S = Seconds
    .m = Decimal Minutes
    .s = Decimal Seconds
    DM.m = Degrees, Minutes, Decimal Minutes (eg. 45o 22.6333)
    D.d = Degrees, Decimal Degrees (eg. 45.3772o)
    DMS = Degrees, Minutes, Seconds (eg. 45o 22' 38")

    (1) DMS --> DM.m (45o 22' 38" --> 45o 22.6333)
    - Divide S by 60 to get .m (38/60=.6333)
    - Add .m to M to get M.m (22+.6333=22.6333)

    (2) DM.m --> D.d (45o 22.6333 --> 45.3772)
    - Divide M.m by 60 to get .d (22.6333/60=.3772)
    - Add .d to D to get D.d (45+.3772=45.3772)

    (3) D.d --> DM.m (45.3772 --> 45o 22.6320)
    - Multiply .d by 60 to get M.m (.3772*60=22.6320)
    (4) DM.m --> DMS (45o 22.6320 --> 45o 22' 38")
    - Multiply .m by 60 to get S(.6320*60=38)
    Last edited by Edmund Fitzgerald; June-17-10 at 11:01 PM.

  6. #6
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    November 10, 2010
    Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service in River Rouge
    S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald 5th Service in River Rouge, Michigan
    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Wednesday November 10, 2010
    Edmund Fitzgeral Video

  7. #7
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    Great Lakes Engineering Works

    The Great Lakes Engineering Works was a shipbuilding company with a shipyard in River Rouge, that operated between 1902 and 1960. It is most notable for its construction of the S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald.

    The Great Lakes Engineering Works’ fifty-eight year history of shipbuilding saw the end to their own epoch. Foreign ships started to handle much of the bulk ore and were producing cost-cheap ships therefore, the America steamship companies began dealing abroad. On April 30, 1961 stockholders of the GLEW agreed to dissolve the shipbuilding giant and the property was then sold to the Great lakes Steel Corp.


    Help us update the Ship Yard List,
    E mail
    us your name and info.
    Supervisory staff and workers that built the Fitz.

    Charles Haskell
    President

    Hugh McLRoy
    Gen. Superintendent
    Howard Verien
    VP
    Hugh Cameron
    vp
    Tom Corin
    Naval Architect Marine Engineer

    Raymond Ramsay
    Naval Architect

    Hugh Cammeron
    VPWill Spooner
    Naval Architect Marine Engineer
    Walter Rohmer
    Purchasing
    Jim Reid
    PersonelArt Haley
    Purchasing
    Eddie Blair
    PayrollArchie Stephenson
    Drafting roomTed Brush
    Estimating
    Harold Black
    Estimating
    Hugh McIlroy
    General Superintendent
    Irene Voisene
    SecretaryElsie Taylor
    Nurse
    Norm Robertson
    Hull and yard Ken Garland
    Mechanical
    Bob Overley
    MechanicalMike Pockrat
    Punch Shed Bill Denman
    Machine ShopFred Brush
    Dry Dock Harold Wilde
    Outside MachanicalFenchie LaBlanc
    Riggers Jim Suarez
    Electricians and CranesPercy Rayfield
    Hull Eddie Clough
    Hull Jim Bolthouse
    Pipe fittersNorm Feldkamp
    Repairs Al Barrow
    Sheet metal and BoilersJoe Sutowski
    RepairsTiny Garvin
    PaintersEd Zemanski
    Riveters Lloyd Starkweather
    Carpenter Shop & Launch MasterWhitey White
    Welding and BurningFrank Weisoric
    Clerk
    Cecil McCurley
    InspectorsArtie Johnson
    Inspectors
    Jim Garner
    Roscoe Logan
    Loge Logan
    WeldersTom Baird
    WeldersAndy Villov
    Welders Clarence Ball
    BurnersOscar Dailey
    Union committee Mike Karshnock
    Union committee Ray LaForest
    Union committee Your name hereEdward Wojtylko Sr
    Carpenter Leader Will Spooner
    Chief Marine Engineer

    Hull Design Drafting
    Paul Delahanti
    James Gill
    Peter McNair
    Stan McFarland
    Louis Maierhoff
    Wayne Shanteau
    Francis Matt
    Dave Matt
    John Jackson
    Robert Soule

    Last edited by Edmund Fitzgerald; June-17-10 at 11:07 PM.

  8. #8
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    Hours before the dive to the Fitz
    May 1976 - Official Pictures


    New information uncovered by viewing video tape of the pliot house and radio handset.
    "Curv III tape a camera view of the radio handset cord being held up at the top of the pliot house."
    After the first dive, the handset cord was seen out side the pliot house.



  9. #9
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    Somebody's been into the Tequila bottle.

  10. #10
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    Default Edmund Fitzgerald

    Quote Originally Posted by Edmund Fitzgerald View Post
    November 10, 2010
    Edmund Fitzgerald Memorial Service in River Rouge
    S. S. Edmund Fitzgerald 5th Service in River Rouge, Michigan
    6:00 pm to 8:00 pm Wednesday November 10, 2010
    Edmund Fitzgeral Video
    S.S. EdmundFitzgerald 37 Year Anniversary
    November 10, 2012
    RIVER ROUGE A memorial service is planned for Saturday November 10, 2012 toremember the 29 men who died when the SS Edmund Fitzgerald sank in LakeSuperior on Nov. 10, 1975.
    The ceremony is set for 6 to 8 p.m. and the heated tent open at 4:30 p.m. forviewing Edmund Fitzgerald artifacts, near the Mariners Memorial Lighthouse atBelanger Park, off Belanger Park Drive and Marion.
    The event is held in River Rouge because thats the city where the vessel wasbuilt in 1957 and 58.
    Several speakers will give their memories of the ship, including people whohelped construct it and relatives of some of the deceased crewmen.
    Artifacts, photographs and videos also will be on display and you can talk tothe Fitz Ship Builders, past Crew Members and Fitz Family Members.
    At 7:10 p.m. the time the ship sank a wreath will be tossed into theDetroit River. A bell will be rung 29 times in memory of each person who died.
    A plaque presentation and lantern lighting is planned. Food and Refreshmentswill be provided free of charge.
    Event organizer Roscoe Clark has a Web site devoted to the vessel, whichcontains several video clips and photos of the ship.
    Earlier in the day, an Edmund Fitzgerald open house will be held from 4 to 5p.m. at the River Rouge Historical Museum, 10750 W. Jefferson Ave.
    This year, the service will be web cast free of charge for those viewers allacross the US and Canada.
    For more information and location call Roscoe Clark at (810) 519-2148.
    This is a special program held each year and is free of charge. All new thisyear

  11. #11
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    Hey.thanks for sharing! Can you share the website?

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