On November 10, 1975, the cargo ship Edmund Fitzgerald sank in Lake Superior, taking all 29 crewmembers with her. The sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald was one of the worst maritime disasters on the Great Lakes.The Edmund Fitzgerald left the port of Superior, Wisconsin, the day before the tragedy. It was carrying 26,116 long tons of iron ore to be processed in Detroit, Michigan. Increasingly stormy weather forced the ship to seek refuge in Whitefish Bay, between the twin cities of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, and Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, Canada.The weather on Lake Superior quickly turned violent as the ship reached the bay. The Edmund Fitzgerald faced winds gusting up to 50 knots (58 miles per hour), and waves cresting as high as 5 meters (16 feet). It probably hit a sandbar and suffered damage to its lower hull. The ship also encountered “three sisters,” a series of rogue waves reaching as high as 10 meters (35 feet).The ship lost radar, began listing to one side, and reported taking on increasing amounts of water before losing contact with a nearby ship.The tragedy of the Edmund Fitzgerald resulted in major changes to safety regulations for ships traveling on the Great Lakes. Cargo ships are now required to use depth finders, survival suits are part of every ship’s mandatory safety kit, and the shipping network now has sophisticated GPS technology to better track ships and their crews.
Term Part of Speech Definition Encyclopedic Entry bay Noun
body of water partially surrounded by land, usually with a wide mouth to a larger body of water.
Encyclopedic Entry: bay cargo Noun
goods carried by a ship, plane, or other vehicle.
the top of a wave.
harm that reduces usefulness or value.
Global Positioning System (GPS) Noun
system of satellites and receiving devices used to determine the location of something on Earth.
Great Lakes Noun
largest freshwater bodies in the world, located in the United States and Canada. Lake Huron, Lake Ontario, Lake Michigan, Lake Erie, and Lake Superior make up the Great Lakes.
sudden, strong wind.
main body of a ship.
chemical element with the symbol Fe.
to lean to one side, usually referring to a ship.
having to do with the ocean.
series of links along which movement or communication can take place.
deposit in the Earth of minerals containing valuable metal.
Encyclopedic Entry: ore port Noun
place on a body of water where ships can tie up or dock and load and unload cargo.
Encyclopedic Entry: port radar Noun
(RAdio Detection And Ranging) method of determining the presence and location of an object using radio waves.
shelter or protection from danger.
rule or law.
rogue wave Noun
unusually large wave not associated with a storm system or tsunami. Also called a freak wave, monster wave, or extreme wave.
underwater or low-lying mound of sand formed by tides, waves, or currents.
transportation of goods, usually by large boat.
severe weather indicating a disturbed state of the atmosphere resulting from uplifted air.
the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.
very sad event.
strong, destructive force.
moving swell on the surface of water.
state of the atmosphere, including temperature, atmospheric pressure, wind, humidity, precipitation, and cloudiness.
Encyclopedic Entry: weather