GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — The Edmond Fitzgerald was one of the largest ships on the Great Lakes. She made many trips delivering iron ore between Silver Bay, Minnesota, and steel mills on the lower Great Lakes in her career.

However, the gales of November struck the ill-fated ship 48 years ago and the legend of The Edmond Fitzgerald was born.

On November 9, 1975, ship Captain Ernest McSorley and his crew departed Superior, Wisconsin, with 26,000 tons of iron ore. The Fitzgerald was followed by The Arthur M. Anderson and Captain Bernie Cooper.

At the time, a powerful November storm system was brewing in the Midwest and heading right toward Lake Superior. 

At 3:30 p.m. on November 10, The Fitzgerald radioed The Anderson to say she had lost two vents and was taking on a list.

At 7:10 p.m., the wave crests were so big, The Fitzgerald was going in and out of the Anderson’s radar. Anderson reported being struck by two huge waves that rolled down the lake towards The Fitzgerald, which was about 10 miles ahead.  

“How are you doing with your problems?” radioed The Anderson’s first mate Morgan Clark

“We’re holding our own,” said McSorley.

That was the last that was ever heard of The Fitzgerald. She soon disappeared from the radar for good. All 29 souls on board were lost.

This tragedy is a reminder of the power of Mother Nature.