View Full Version : History; last night, 37 years ago at approximately 1910Hrs........

11-11-2012, 18:07




When she first tasted water off of the builder's dock, The ship did something unusual. According to witnesses there it looked as though she didn't want to go in. The action of the ship even gave a woman a fatal heart attack on the pier when she saw it.

09/11/05 or next morning, is the day that the "Big Fitz" was identified by a Coast Guard cutter and a P-3 Orion with its radar and sensors being already tuned to another ship in similar size and weight.

I know of some "Salty's" who would come into Cleveland harbor from around the world who I use to talk to and we would talk about the Big Fitz. There is a companion DVD which you can buy from "The Great Lakes Historical Society" that even tells of a Coast Guard Captain who was on on Superior that day in port. IIRC, He told of having never seen such weather even on the ocean before.

The evening of the accident the "Anderson" who was shadowing her by radar was hit by two rogue waves of +90'. She took it and shrugged it off. The Captain of the Anderson has always wondered that these two waves may have caught up to her and finished her off.

I remember this incident vivdly as it took everybody by suprise. This was especially so in Cleveland, because some of the crewman were from Ohio and therby got allot of coverage on the 8 channels we had back then.

So, when you have a broken fence line on a freighter that size, it means you are in bad shape.

Personally, I have only been on one Great Lake, or, "land-locked-oceans" as they are being called these days by some. That was Lake Erie. Great walleye fishing. I was on a 24' owned by a friend of mine once on lake erie when the western sky began to get very dark at around 1330. It was perfectly calm where we were and just cirrus clouds in the morning which made me ask my friend what was his plan(s) if we got into a fast moving cold front(we were in the 80's in the middle of June). His only concern was me to cough up some money for gas which cost him $400+ to fill all the tanks! When the WB announced a warning of a severe thunderstorm coming out of Michigan and gave a small boat warning too, he moved faster to get us back 17 miles to Cleveland Harbor. I never saw so many people and friends on the boat move and start barking out orders. We mad it back in time and only took around 3-5 footers while making pretty good speed until the wind hit the lake and us at 90degrees.

This happened over 20 years ago or so and I am still a little bit warry of going back out. Lately, now when I do go back out on occassion, I look like an AF pilot with all of this survival gear and RSSK. I carry allot of flares and a vest with 4 Mk. 13 day/night flares. I look at it this way, "Flares, along with other survival equipment for overwater, are like blessings from our Lord. You can never have too many."

BTW, Lake Erie is the most dangerous lake in the Great Lakes; it is the shallowist.