By the Numbers...The Ship

Image Copyright S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald Online

Image Copyright S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald Online

  • Length: 729 feet
  • Height: 39 feet
  • Breadth: 75 feet
  • Weight empty: 13,632 tons
  • Hull: 301
  • Registry number: US 277437
  • Ship Builder: Great Lakes Engineering Works
  • Engine Manufacturer: Westinghouse Electric Corporation
  • Christened: June 8, 1958
  • First voyage: Sept. 24, 1958
  • Final resting place: Lake Superior, about 530 ft underwater
  • Sinking: November 10, 1975 with no survivors
  • For more information: check out the National Transportation Safety Board Marine Accident Report

Facts about the Fitz, Crew, and the Lakes:

  • The Fitzgerald was named after Edmund Fitzgerald, president of Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company.
  • The Edmund Fitzgerald foundered only 17 miles from the "safe haven" of Whitefish Point.
  • The Fitzgerald was headed from Superior, Wisconsin to Zug Island on the Detroit River when it sank on November 10, 1975.
  • The Fitzgerald broke her own records for most cargo carried in one year several times in the short 17 year lifespan of the ship.
  • Robert Rafferty wasn't even originally scheduled to be on the ship! He was filling in for someone with bleeding ulcers.
  • The final voyage of the Edmund Fitzgerald was planned as Captain McSorley's final voyage before retirement.
  • Gitche Gumee is Ojibwa for "Big Lake."