SS Edmund Fitzgerald: From inception to sinking


The Fitzgerald in a 1959 photo, was carrying 29 men and a load of 26,216 tons of taconite pellets. (AP Photo)

The largest and longest vessel ever built on the Great Lakes, the 729-foot ore carrier SS Edmund Fitzgerald, slides into the launching basin, on June 7, 1958, in Detroit, Michigan. (AP Photo)

This underwater photo of the sunken SS Edmund Fitzgerald was taken by an unmanned submersible robot, as a research team investigates the wreck site 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Point, Mich., on August 24, 1989. (AP Photo)

This 1976 underwater photo shows a close up of the pilot house of the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald after it sank at the bottom of Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975. (AP Photo)

In a Nov. 24, 1975 photo, Coast Guard officers on a Board of Inquiry inspected life rings that were recovered from the ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald, which sank in stormy weather in Lake Superior on Nov. 10, 1975. (AP Photo/GE)

In a Nov. 11, 1975 photo, two U.S. Coast Guardsmen move a life raft from the freighter Edmund Fitzgerald across the dock in Sault Ste. Marie, Mich., after the raft was plucked from Whitefish Bay by the freighter Roger Blough, a ship assisting in...

Tom Fischer of Evansville, Ind. looks over the Edmund Fitzgerald bell on display at the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum in Whitefish Point, Mich., June 29, 2005. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)