It was one of the largest ships on the Great Lakes, carrying over 26,000 tons of taconite ore between Duluth/Superior and the steel mills to the south.
The “Fitz” had departed on 9 November in tandem with another laker, but sailed directly into an early winter storm. It sank suddenly, without making a distress call, at about 7:30 p.m., in heavy snow with winds gusting to hurricane force and seas exceeding 30 feet in height.
Gordon Lightfoot memorialized the casualty in his hit song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald”.
Watch the relevant documentary below: