Edmund Fitzgerald crew remembered 45 years after ship sank in Lake Superior

DETROIT — The crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald, who perished when the freighter sank 45 years ago Tuesday, was memorialized in events in Detroit; Whitefish Point, Michigan; and Two Harbors, Minnesota.

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Twenty-nine men died when the ship sank in Lake Superior, 17 miles from Whitefish Point on Nov. 10, 1975, the Detroit Free Press reported. The freighter was carrying 26,116 tons of taconite pellets when it sank, WOOD-TV reported.

The wreck was immortalized in a song by Gordon Lightfoot, “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald.

As Lightfoot sang in his haunting December 1976 song:

"Superior, they said, never gives up her dead

When the gales of November come early."

The freighter, launched in 1958, cost $8 million to build, WOOD reported. It was the largest vessel on the Great Lakes until 1971, the television station reported.

The Rev. Jeffrey M. Hubbard, rector of the Mariners' Church of Detroit, said the wreck is still vivid to many people.

“It’s stuck in the memories of folks in Michigan, and the Great Lakes are so integrally connected to our area,” Hubbard told the Free Press. “Hearing the story of the brave men who lost their lives resonates with people.”

Two events are planned at Detroit’s Dossin Great Lakes Museum to remember the ship and its crew, the newspaper reported. A lantern vigil is planned at the site of the Edmund Fitzgerald’s anchor, followed by an honor guard escort of a memorial wreath to the Detroit River.

"The church bell chimed 'til it rang 29 times

For each man on the Edmund Fitzgerald,” Lightfoot sang.

Approximately 240 ships have sunk in the Whitefish Point area since statistics were first kept in 1816, WOOD reported.