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Toledo, Ohio & Lake Erie

The Press Newspaper

The Press Newspaper

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Students at The Maritime Academy of Toledo held a special colors ceremony this morning, Nov. 10, to remember the crew of S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald on the 35th anniversary of the tragedy.

On Nov. 10, 1975 at approximated 7:10 p.m., the ship disappeared from radar during a violent storm on Lake Superior. Twenty-nine crew members lost their lives, including seven from northwest Ohio. Investigators found the wrecked ship approximately 17 miles northwest of Whitefish Bay submerged in 530 feet of water.

Renee Marazon, Superintendent of The Maritime Academy
of Toledo; 
Toledo Fire Chief Michael Wolever;  Tom Walton,
who served aboard
the Edmund Fitzgerald in 1963.  Walton's
uncle died when the ship
went down.  Paul LeMarre III,
Executive Director of S.S. Willis B.
Boyer and Manager of
Maritime Affairs for the Toledo-Lucas County
Port Authority;
Steve Toth, Board President, The Maritime Academy
County
Commissioner-elect, and Paul Toth, President and CEO,
Toledo Lucas County Port Authority.

“Every morning our school gathers to raise the flag during our presentation of colors. On November 10 we will have students will pay tribute to crew of the Edmund Fitzgerald by reciting the names of the crew members and the tolling of a bell,” said Renee Marazon, the academy's superintendent.

“This is an opportunity for the students to learn more about our local maritime history given the fact that seven of the crew members were from our area. The ship also had ties to the community as it would be moored in Toledo when the shipping season ended,” Marazon said.

Seven crew members were from Northwest Ohio. They included Ernest M. McSorley, 63, Captain, Ottawa Hills; Eugene W. O'Brien, 50, Wheelsman, Toledo; Robert C. Rafferty, 62, Steward, Toledo; William J. Spengler, 59, Watchman, Toledo; Thomas E. Edwards, 50, Second Assistant Engineer, Oregon; Russell G. Haskell, 40, Second Assistant Engineer, Millbury; Ralph G. Walton, 58, Oiler, Fremont.