Today’s Weather vs. Day the Fitz Sank

During the early morning of November 9, 1975, a low-pressure system began to take shape in the southern plains. This storm would move northeast and intensify considerably over the next 36 hours as it moved into the Great Lakes region. The low was farther east than the one we saw today. Winds today reached gusts as high as 55mph. Around the time the Edmund Fitzgerald sank, the wind was blowing around 50 mph, with gusts reported by the Anderson (another ship) of 70 to 75 mph, and waves were 18 to 25 feet. The Fitzgerald sat very low in the water, increasing the frequency and quantity of water that could flood the deck. The loose hatch covers allowed water spilling onboard to enter the cargo area, causing the ship to sink even lower and take on more and more water. There were 29 crew members that lost their life.