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Marine Board of Investigation: Sinking of the EDMUND FITZGERALD - GLMS 24
This collection of five reels of microfilm was created in July 1978 when the original seven volumes of the report from the Marine Board of Investigation of the Sinking of the S/S EDMUND FITZGERALD were loaned to Bowling Green State University for microfilming. Captain James A. Wilson of the U. S. Coast Guard, and a member of the investigating board, arranged for the lending of the volumes. The original report was returned to the Coast Guard after microfilming.
Literary and property rights are dedicated to the public. Photocopying is permitted for purposes of research and conservation.
The Marine Board of Investigation of the Sinking of the S/S EDMUND FITZGERALD was convened by the United States Coast Guard on November 18, 1975 at the Federal Building in Cleveland, Ohio. This Board was assigned the task of determining the cause of the sinking of the EDMUND FITZGERALD on November 10, 1975 and to make recommendations to prevent further tragedies of this type. The Board was not empowered to assess civil or criminal liabilities. The Board held hearing on twelve days between November 18 and December 13, 1975.
The members of the Board were Rear Admiral Winfred W. Barrow (Chairman), Captain Adam S. Zobinski (member), Captain James A. Wilson (member), and Commander C. S. Loosmore (recorder). The testimony and exhibit material filled seven volumes when published.
The Board's findings regarding the cause of the sinking were not without controversial aspects. Concluding that damaged hatches had allowed water to enter the cargo hold and gradually cause a loss of buoyancy, the Board found itself at variance with a widely believed alternative theory. The Lake Carriers Association and other parties to the hearings felt the EDMUND FITZGERALD must have suffered hull damage in shallow water near Caribou Island several hours before sinking. The breached hull was thought to have been the cause of the buoyancy loss.
The controversial conclusions of the Board have been the source of debate since the hearings were concluded. Captain James A. Wilson made the published testimony available for microfilming by Bowling Green State University to increase access to the Board's findings.
The five reels of microfilm in this collection present a copy of the seven volumes produced by the Marine Board of Investigation inquiry into the cause of the sinking of the EDMUND FITZGERALD on November 10, 1975. Testimony was heard between November 18 and December 13, 1975. The hearings were held at the Federal Building on East Ninth Street in Cleveland, Ohio. The entire text of the testimony was selected for microfilming, amounting to 3001 pages. Exhibits accompanying the testimony were filmed on a selected basis. Of 109 exhibit items, 98 appear on film.
November 18-December 13, 1975
Series contains a microfilmed copy of the seven volume report produced by the Marine Board of Investigation that inquired into the causes of the sinking of the EDMUND FITZGERALD on November 10, 1975. All the testimony and most exhibits were microfilmed. Testimony is indexed for each volume. Several exhibits referred to in the index were not selected for microfilming. Exhibits that were not microfilmed include 6b-6k, 23a-23g, 25, 28, 29, 38, 49, 85, and 108. This list represents only a few of the 109 exhibit items.
Exhibit 30, Lake Survey Chart 9 for Lake Superior, is available in the HCGL's chart collection. Item 104, Observations Made of the Wreck of the S/S EDMUND FITZGERALD in Lake Superior, Michigan, 19-28 May 1976, is available under catalog number VK 1255 .E345 S43. Other items were neither filmed nor transferred to the HCGL. These exhibits are described in the index on Reel 1.
- Transcript of Testimony, Volume 1, page 1 through Volume 3, page 1021
- Transcript of Testimony, Volume 3, page 1022 through Vol. 6, page 2165
- Transcript of Testimony, Volume 6, page 2166 through Exhibit 3N (beginning)
- Exhibit 3N (end) through Exhibit 102 (beginning)
- Exhibit 102 (beginning) through Supplementary items
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