November 10, 1995
The Detroit News
Video: Documentary details sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald
After years of researching, filming and production work, the most comprehensive, up-to-date look at the sinking of the Great Lakes freighter Edmund Fitzgerald is available to the public.
Southport Video's hour-long documentary, The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald, provides an in-depth history of the storied bulk carrier, including an hour-by-hour account of her fateful final journey on Nov. 10, 1975, when, caught in the howling winds and 35-foot waves of a Lake Superior storm, the Fitzgerald became the Great Lakes' most notorious modern maritime disaster.
In addition, viewers get a rare look at the Edmund Fitzgerald as it is today, torn in half and resting in 530 feet of frigid water. This underwater footage, coupled with scores of photographs, paintings, newspaper headlines, computer animation and expert testimonials, provides a visual documentary unlike anything about the Fitzgerald on the market today.
Equipped with the finest safety and technological features available in modern shipping, the Fitzgerald vanished suddenly -- even as it was being followed and carefully tracked by another vessel in the storm. One moment the Fitzgerald was plowing along, fighting the storm and its impact on the ship -- "We are holding our own," in the words of the Fitzgerald's captain. The next moment the Fitzgerald was gone.
How did the ship meet its doom? Did a giant wave cause it to submarine to the Lake Superior depths? Did damaged hatch covers let in enough water to cause the Fitzgerald to lose buoyancy? Did the ore carrier break in half due to the storm's extreme stress? These and other theories are examined in the video.
The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald is the fifth in a series of Great Lakes shipwreck videos released by producer/director Mark C. Gumbinger. He received assistance from many sources, including the U.S. Coast Guard and Great Lakes historians.
"The Mystery of the Edmund Fitzgerald" is available in VHS format. Visa or MasterCard, call (414) 552-5411; or send check or money order for $39.95 plus $4.95 shipping and handling to Southport Video, P.O. Box 862, Kenosha, WI 53141-0862.
Copyright 1995, The Detroit News