On November 10, 1975, in the most famous shipwreck in Great Lakes history, the Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a treacherous storm on Lake Superior. Now in conjunction with its anniversary of the ship sinking, Southport Video Productions, a film company specializing in documentaries on shipwrecks and lighthouses, has released a program titled The Edmund Fitzgerald Controversy.
“This is by far our most detailed and comprehensive look at this great ship’s story,” said Southport producer Mark C. Gumbinger of www.edmundfitzgerald.com, who produced and directed three earlier entries on the Edmund Fitzgerald.
The latest film presents new interview material filmed for this program, with updated theories about what actually brought the Edmund Fitzgerald to the bottom of Lake Superior on that terrible, stormy night.”
Thanks to the popular 1976 song by singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot, the story of the Edmund Fitzgerald has reached and maintained legendary status in Great Lakes maritime lore. The gigantic ore carrier, at one time the largest ship on the Great Lakes and holder of numerous tonnage records, was caught up in a vicious November storm on Lake Superior and, after hours of battling high winds and 30-foot waves, suddenly disappeared from radar without so much as a single warning or SOS from its captain or crew.
What happened that fateful night has been the subject of debate for the last three decades. The Fitzgerald came to rest in two pieces in deep frigid water, and authorities cannot even agree on whether the ship broke on the surface or whether it slammed into the floor of Lake Superior, not to mention the different and often conflicting theories.
The Edmund Fitzgerald Controversy gives the details of the ship’s final voyage, complete with details of its final minutes, the frantic search efforts that followed its sinking, and the Coast Guard’s exhaustive investigation into the tragedy. The various theories about its sinking are explored by Great Lakes maritime experts.
The one-hour documentary features rare photographs and paintings, historical footage of the launching of the Fitz, archival news clippings, computer graphics illustrating the sinking, and stunning underwater footage of the Fitzgerald, resting on the bottom of Lake Superior. Also included is a haunting radio transmission between the captain of the Arthur Anderson (a ship following the Fitzgerald and tracking its movements during the Fitz’s final hours), and the Coast Guard Station. This captivating program is bound to please both shipwreck novices and longtime maritime enthusiasts.