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The Edmund Fitzgerald The Edmund Fitzgerald was built in River Rouge Michigan in 1958 with the hull number 301 McCall The job was completed with the help of one thousand men The Fitzgerald was seven hundred twenty nine feet long and was the largest freighter on the Great Lakes at the time Mrs Edmund Fitzgerald christened it on June 8 1958 before sliding into the Detroit River Nolan The Fitzgerald set numerous shipping records before its last voyage In 1964 it became the first Great Lakes vessel to carry more than a million gross tons of ore through the Soo Locks It then broke its own record by hauling 12 million tons through the Locks Stonehouse 13 This is why the Fitzgerald was labeled The Pride of the American Flag Stonehouse 13 Over the years people have speculated what actually happened to the Edmund Fitzgerald Nobody witnessed the Fitzgerald actually sink so there are many theories of what people think happened Studies of the wreckage and the sight of where it went down disproved all the theories Based on the weather conditions the boats condition its last voyage and the Marine Casualty Report an answer 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 winds of thirty-four to forty-seven knots for Lake Superior Marine Accident Report They also predicted rain and thunderstorms with waves eight to fifteen feet At 100 am on November 10 the Fitzgerald reported winds at fifty-two knots and waves ten feet tall At this time the Fitzgerald was twenty miles south of Isle Royal An hour later the National Weather Service issued a storm warning The NWS predicted winds now thirty-five to fifty knots northeasterly with waves eight to fifteen feet At 700 am the Fitzgerald was forty-five miles
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