Wednesday, July 27, 2005


No commercial dives allowed on "Fitzgerald"


By Mike Simonson
July 25, 2005

Edmund Fitzgerald in St. Marys River.

The doomed ore carrier Edmund Fitzgerald lies in the Canadian waters of eastern Lake Superior. Now, the Ontario government is making expeditions to the shipwreck off-limits.

Twenty-nine men were lost in hurricane-force winds November 10th, 1975 in Lake Superior. For years, families of the crew have asked that the ship be left alone. None of the bodies were recovered and are believed to be in or around the ship.

The director of the Great Lakes Shipwrecks Museum on Whitefish Point near the sinking site admitted to an unlicensed dive in 2002. So earlier this year, the Ontario Ministry of Culture warned him and anyone else to stop commercial dives to the Fitzgerald.

Ministry Spokesman Guy LePage doubts they'll grant any more permits for expeditions to anyone.

"So the Ministry of Culture in Ontario regard the Edmund Fitzgerald wreck site as a watery grave for the twenty-nine people who lost their lives in the sinking. Given that the tragedy didn't happen all that long ago and there are living next of kin, we've not supported diving on the wreck."

Even though this is the 30th anniversary of the loss of the Edmund Fitzgerald, LePage says no one has applied for an expedition permit.


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