Perhaps no other Great Lakes shipwreck has as much notoriety as the ill-fated SS Edmund Fitzgerald, a 729-foot iron ore carrier that sunk to the bottom of Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975, during a fierce November gale. All 29 crew members died.
The ship set off from Superior, Wisconsin, on Nov. 9, carrying iron ore pellets from mines near Duluth, Minnesota, to be processed in Detroit. Early in the morning of Nov. 10, the ship encountered winds as strong as 80 mph and waves more than 30 feet high. The 729-foot ship took on water and eventually snapped in two, plunging more than 500 feet to the lake bottom, where it remains.
The shipwreck, located about 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point, Michigan, captured the public's attention for years -- even spurring a popular folk song by Gordon Lightfoot, "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald." In 1995, divers retrieved the ship's 200-pound bronze bell, which is kept as a memorial at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Michigan. Bodies of the crew have never been recovered.