Edmund Fitzgerald Essay Research Paper The Edmund

Edmund Fitzgerald Essay, Research Paper

The Edmund Fitzgerald:

The Edmund Fitzgerald was built in River Rouge, Michigan in 1958 with the hull figure 301 ( McCall ) . The occupation was completed with the aid of one 1000 work forces. The Fitzgerald was seven hundred 20 nine pess long and was the largest bottom on the Great Lakes at the clip. Mrs. Edmund Fitzgerald christened it on June 8, 1958 before skiding into the Detroit River ( Nolan ) . The Fitzgerald set legion transportation records before its last ocean trip. In 1964 it became the first Great Lakes vas to transport more than a million gross dozenss of ore through the Soo Locks. It so broke its ain record by haling 1.2 million dozenss through the Locks ( Stonehouse 13 ) . This is why the Fitzgerald was labeled & # 8220 ; The Pride of the American Flag & # 8221 ; ( Stonehouse 13 ) .

Over the old ages people have speculated what really happened to the Edmund Fitzgerald. Cipher witnessed the Fitzgerald really sink so there are many theories of what people think happened. Surveies of the wreckage and the sight of where it went down disproved all the theories. Based on the conditions conditions, the boats status, its last ocean trip, and the Marine Casualty Report an reply of the cause was concluded.

Weather

The storm was generated over the Oklahoma Panhandle on November 8, 1975. It moved northeasterly towards the Lake Superior. On November 9, the National Weather Service issued warnings of air currents of 34 to 47 knots for Lake Superior ( & # 8221 ; Marine Accident Report & # 8221 ; ) . They besides predicted rain and electrical storms with moving ridges eight to fifteen pess.

At 1:00 ante meridiem on November 10, the Fitzgerald reported air currents at 52 knots and moving ridges ten pess tall. At this clip the Fitzgerald was 20 stat mis south of Isle Royal. An hr subsequently the National Weather Service issued a storm warning. The NWS predicted air currents now thirty-five to fifty knots northeasterly with moving ridges eight to fifteen pess. At 7:00 ante meridiem the Fitzgerald was 45 stat mis north of Copper Harbor, Michigan and reported air currents at 35 knots and moving ridges at 10 pess ( & # 8221 ; Marine Accident Report & # 8221 ; ) . Subsequently on at 1:00 p.m. the storm had crossed Lake Superior to the West of Michipicoten Island and was over White River, Ontario. The NWS once more predicted at 4:39 p.m. Eastern Lake Superior with Northwest winds 38 to 52 knots with blasts to 60 knots with moving ridges eight to sixteen pess. The Anderson, which was following the Fitzgerald, reported at 7:00 p.m. air currents at 50 knots and moving ridges at 16 pess. These were the conditions studies before the Downing of the Fitzgerald.

After the tragic event an NWS meteorologist testified stating before the Fitzgerald sank the norm sustained wind velocity was 45 knots from the Northwest for a period of six to seven hours ( & # 8221 ; Marine Casualty Report & # 8221 ; 11 ) . With these air currents they would bring forth moving ridges with an mean tallness if 15 pess.

Wear and Tear

Since it was foremost commissioned it was capable of executing 45-50 trips a twelvemonth. Over the old ages of all the trips the Fitzgerald was put through a batch of wear and tear. Between the old ages of 1969 and 1970 it ran aground near the Soo Locks and suffered internal and external harm. Adding extra stiffening to the keelsons rapidly solved the job. Between 1973 and 1974 the snap job reoccurred from the old job. This clip it was fixed by welding during its winter layup. Besides during its lay-up minor breaks were detected in the hatch covers and the gunwale saloon ( & # 8221 ; Marine Casualty Report & # 8221 ; 8 ) . Original building mistakes and original design item caused the breaks defects, which were fixed. On October 31, 1975 the Fitzgerald was found to hold damaged hatch covers on four of its hatches. The structural defects were on hatch No. 13 were there was a 1 inch notch in the home base in the manner of the hatch, a 1 inch dent in the home base in manner of hatch No. 15, a 10 inch cleft in hatch No. 16, and a 1 inch cleft at the intersection on No. 21 ( & # 8221 ; Marine Casualty Report & # 8221 ; 9 ) . The Coast Guard who conducted the review ordered the defects of the hatches to be fixed before the 1976-shipping season ( Wesley ) .

The Final Ocean trip

Its concluding ocean trip began on November 9, 1975, when the SS Edmund Fitzgerald began lading 26,116 dozenss of taconite pellets at Burlington Northern Railroad Dock No. 1 in Superior, WI ( Stonehouse 24 ) . It departed from the docks at 2:15 that afternoon and proceeded on its designated class at 16.3 miles per hour across Lake Superior. The trip was everyday and normal until the forenoon of November 10 when a storm warning was issued. After this warning the Fitzgerald discussed with the Anderson, another bottom which was following at about 10 stat mis, to alter their designated class ( McCall ) . They decided to go forth the southern shore of Lake Superior and continue northeastward South of Isle Royal, so eastward along the northern shore, and so southeastward along the eastern shore ( Stonehouse 25 ) . The alteration in their path would let the two ships to take advantage of the Canadian Shore, which was off from the air current.

While on this new class around 3:30 the Fitzgerald wireless to the Anderson coverage & # 8220 ; Anderson, this is the Fitz

gerald. I have sustained some topside harm. I have a fencing rail down, two blowholes lost or damaged, and a list. I m look intoing down. Will remain by me till I get to Whitefish” ( Wesley ) . The Fitzgerald was rigged with four electric 7000 gallon per minute ballast pumps and two electric 2000 per minute subsidiary pumps. These pumps could be used to de-water the lading hold through two suctions. The Fitzgerald was besides equipped with two radio detection and ranging s that they lost about 4:30 p.m. The Fitzgerald now had to be guided by the aid of the Anderson. The Fitzgerald could non see the Whitefish Point visible radiation and they couldn Ts pick up the wireless beacon. At 7:10 p.m. the Anderson radioed the Fitzgerald to warn of another vas nine stat mis stating:

& # 8220 ; Fitzgerald, this is the Anderson. Have you checked down? & # 8221 ;

& # 8220 ; Yes we have. & # 8221 ;

& # 8220 ; Fitzgerald, we are about 10 stat mis behind you, and deriving approximately 1 1/2 stat mis per hr. Fitzgerald, there is a mark 19 stat mis in front of us. So the mark would be 9 stat mis in front of you. & # 8221 ;

& # 8220 ; Well, am I traveling to unclutter? & # 8221 ;

& # 8220 ; Yes. He is traveling to go through to the West of you. & # 8221 ;

& # 8220 ; Well, fine. & # 8221 ; ( Wesley )

This was the last wireless transmittal between the two boats. Shortly after the transmittal the Fitzgerald was lost in sight due to the snow and conditions. This was the last clip anybody has of all time seen the Fitzgerald.

Marine Casualty Report

From the information obtained above, the study came up with the decision the Edmund Fitzgerald went down because of monolithic implosion therapy. The cause of the sinking foremost began with the study of topside harm which was the lose of two blowholes, a fencing rail, and both pumps operating. Since the pumps were traveling that means that deluging was happening in one of its ballast armored combat vehicles. Because of the terrible seas, H2O was come ining the ship through non-weather tight hatch screens of the lading clasp. Another job was the sheer wale, which extended the length of the vas and was 15 3/8 inches above the conditions deck ( & # 8221 ; Marine Casualty Report & # 8221 ; 4 ) . With the terrible seas the moving ridges that came over deck would hold caused the H2O to be trapped and enter through the hatches. If the hatches were deluging it could hold been terrible plenty to do the lading clasp to make full up with H2O.

The implosion therapy of the ballast armored combat vehicles, the lading clasp, and the deck would hold caused the lessening in the vass freeboard. Since the Fitzgerald was already three pess deeper in the H2O so usually more H2O would come in the vas. The vas wasn T equipped with sounding tubings or other devices to find if there was any implosion therapy of the lading clasp. The lone manner to inspect the lading holds was visually and the lone manner to find if there was H2O in the lading holds is if the H2O exceeded the tallness of the lading. There was a bilge pump located in the lading clasp but by testimony it was impossible to pump H2O if there was majority lading ( Marine Casualty Report ) . The lading would be given to choke off the pump and do it useless doing the lading clasp to make full up. In a twosome proceedingss the lading clasp could hold caused the ship to plump to the underside of Lake Superior.

Theories behind the Sinking

Since there were no subsisters or informants of the sinking of the Fitzgerald there are many theories behind the sinking. These theories have all been proved incorrect through surveies. One theory that many people believe is that the boat broke in half. The storm was bring forthing moving ridges of 20 plus pess. This one theory believes that two twenty-foot moving ridges picked up either terminal of the boat. When this happened from the weight of the bottom lading would do the boat buckle and split in half. This theory was disproved because surveies have been made to see if it would be possible with the boat weight and the conditions of the H2O. It wouldn t be possible for this to go on.

A 2nd theory is based upon the class alteration and the lose of the boats radar. It was speculated that the Fitzgerald bottomed out near Fathom Shoal. The harm sustained from the bottoming out would hold caused the boat to drop. The surveying of the wreckage besides disproved this theory. The wreckage showed there was no harm to the hull or any marks of bottoming out.

The last theory is that the series of clinchs that were used to keep down the steel weren t fastened. In the unsmooth seas from the November ramp the lading would hold shifted. Even if the lading shifted it wouldn Ts have been able to do the boat displacement and do the boat to travel down.

Fig. 1. Theory on the Fitzgerald being suspended between two moving ridges and interrupting in half. Detroit News, Nolan.

The Wreckage of the Edmund Fitzgerald is located about 17 stat mis north-west of Whitefish Point and lies at the deepness of 530 pess ( Stonehouse 44 ) . It has been 25 old ages now since the tragic November storm. There have been many narratives and theories of why the Fitzgerald went down but one thing for certain is that it took 29 lives. The cause was by monolithic implosion therapy but was this event preventable. I guess the ship that lies in the cold Waterss of Lake Superior has taken the truth with it. It s been 25 old ages but the memory of the Edmund Fitzgerald is still about.