On November 10, 1975 the Fitzgerald left Superior, Wisconsin carrying 26,000 tons of
iron ore pellets, bound for Detroit. The day was bright; in her path laid a terrible storm
with 60 MPH winds and waves of about 18 feet. As the storm built, her experienced
Captain Ernest McSorley bore north across Lake Superior, seeking the relative shelter
of the Canadian shore and Whitefish Bay.
The ship Arthur M. Anderson, was about less than 10 miles from the Fitzgerald, and
received reports that the ship was listing to the starboard and that structural damages
had occurred to the vessel. At 7:10 PM, The Captain delivered what was to be his final
message: "We're holding our own." The Fitzgerald's image disappeared from radar
screens around 7:25 PM. The ship and crew, which consisted of 29 men, sank to the
bottom of Lake Superior.