The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald
The SS Edmund Fitzgerald capsized in a severe early winter storm in Lake Superior in November 1975. All 29 crew members were all lost. (“The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” is the title of a song about the sinking by Gordon Lightfoot.)
News You Can Use
- Rough seas certainly contributed to the sinking of the Edmund Fitzgerald.
- Conditions in Lake Superior often generate a group of three rogue waves.
- Called “the three sisters,” each wave hits the ship before water from the previous wave drains off. By the third wave in a storm, a dangerous amount of water is on the ship.
- The captain of a nearby ship said that rogue waves were headed in the direction of the Edmund Fitzgerald just before the ship sank.
- Rogue waves can also come out of nowhere, even on a clear, calm day.
Can You Apply It?
With the link below, learn more about rogue waves. Then answer the following questions.
- SciShow, Rogue Waves: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2dstDYiPQ-A
- Is a ship at sea in more danger from a tsunami or a rogue wave?
- How might large waves and currents interact to form rogue waves?
- What is one reason that rogue waves could form without a nearby current?
- Why have scientists only been certain of rogue waves for about 20 years, but now there is a lot of documentation that they exist?