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1 oz. Fine Silver Coloured Coin – Lost Ships in Canadian Waters: S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald – Mintage: 7,000 (2015)

1 oz. Fine Silver Coloured Coin – Lost Ships in Canadian Waters: S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald – Mintage: 7,000 (2015)

Archived
$109.95 CAD
Mintage: 7,000
STATUS:
Canada and US only
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EDGE LETTERING: The words "S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD" and the outline of the ship's anchor are engraved along the edge of the coin.

"I have a bad list, lost both radars, and am taking heavy seas over the deck. One of the worst seas I've ever been in…"
Ernest M. McSorley, Captain of S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald.

Immortalized in a popular and well-loved ballad, the legendary story of a freighter's quest to withstand an extreme storm still resonates today. Caught in a "Witch of November" on November 10, 1975, the American freighter S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald endured what many believe to be some of the harshest winter storm conditions on the Great Lakes; towering waves whipped by hurricane-force winds washed over the loaded vessel's deck as the ship sailed along the Canadian coastline, where the crew hoped to find some relief from the worst of the tempest. But under the cover of darkness, cloaked by the raging snow squall, one of the largest vessels of her kind suddenly and quietly slipped beneath the cold waters of Lake Superior near Whitefish Bay, Ontario, taking with her all 29 of her crew.

A prestigious addition to your Canadiana, history, or commemorative display! Order yours today!

Special features:
  • EDGE LETTERING: The words "S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD" and the outline of the ship's anchor are engraved along the edge of the coin.
  • Third coin in a series that commemorates well-known vessels that have been lost in Canadian waters, and the stories that have emerged from the events surrounding their final fate.
  • Expertly crafted in 99.99% pure silver, this coin commemorates the anniversary of the loss of the Fitzgerald.
  • Selective colour sets the tone in this artistic rendering of one of the worst maritime disasters in Canadian waters.
  • Your coin is GST/HST exempt and has a limited mintage worldwide.

About the Design:
Designed by Canadian artist John Horton, your coin uses full colour over detailed engraving to recreate the marine conditions of that fateful evening in 1975 as S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald struggles in its quest to beat the fearsome winter storm. In the ship's final hour at sea, hurricane-force winds have driven the turbulent waters of Lake Superior into a frenzy, with great waves crashing against the Fitzgerald's red and white bow and sweeping across the deck of the cargo-laden freighter. Still, the brave crewmembers push on as the snow squall rages on, with the ship's lights faintly glowing in the cold, dark night. Framing this dramatic scene is the engraved outline of the Canadian shoreline of southeastern Lake Superior, where the Fitzgerald hoped the Canadian highlands would provide some refuge from the worst of the storm; instead, those very waters would become the final resting place for the legendary vessel and her entire crew. The words "S.S. EDMUND FITZGERALD" and the outline of the ship's anchor are engraved along the edge of the coin.

Did you know…
Immortalized in a famous ballad, the legendary story of a freighter's quest to withstand an extreme storm still resonates today. Caught in a "Witch of November" on November 10, 1975, the American freighter S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald endured what many believe to be some of the harshest winter storm conditions in recent memory on the Great Lakes.

The Fitzgerald sailed out of Superior, Wisconsin, at 2:15 p.m. on November 9, 1975 with a full cargo of iron ore pellets destined for Detroit, Michigan. The weather had been mild and the waters calm, but forecasters were tracking a storm moving in from the Plains; joined by S.S. Arthur M. Anderson, both ships opted to alter their course closer to the Canadian shoreline, where it was hoped the Canadian highlands would offer some protection from the brunt of the storm.

But by 1 a.m. on the morning of November 10, the Fitzgerald recorded winds of 52 knots (96 km/h) and waves measuring 3 metres high. Near-hurricane force winds seemed to pick up strength throughout the day while visibility was greatly reduced. Conditions only grew worse: at 3:15 p.m., Captain Jesse Cooper of the Anderson watched the Fitzgerald round Caribou Island, where it seemed to skirt close to Six Fathom Shoal; 15 minutes later, the Anderson received a radio transmission from the Fitzgerald indicating that the vessel had taken on water and had developed a list, while reporting the loss of two vent covers and a guard rail. Shortly after, the Fitzgerald lost both radars and became dependent on the Anderson to guide her through the rough waters; but a snow squall with winds at more than 100 km/h cloaked the Fitzgerald in the evening's darkness, which meant she was no longer visible to the Anderson. In a radio transmission made at 7:10 p.m., the Anderson inquired how the Fitzgerald was faring, to which Captain Ernest McSorley answered "We are holding our own"—tragically, these would be the last words heard from any of the Fitzgerald's 29 crew members.

Between 7:20 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald suddenly and quietly slipped beneath the frigid waters of Lake Superior, just 27 km from the entrance to Whitefish Bay, and in Canadian waters that measured 160 metres deep. During the ensuing three-day search and rescue operations, vessels such as S.S. William Clay Ford and S.S. Hilda Marjanne assisted in the search for survivors on both sides of the lake; the Canadian Coast Guard deployed its aircraft to survey from the air, while the Ontario Provincial Police organized a beach patrol along the lake's eastern shore in the hope of finding survivors—but none were ever found.

Although theories abound as to what caused the ship to sink, the official report placed probable cause on flooding from the waves that rolled over the ship's deck and into the cargo hold through ineffective hatch closures. No distress signal was ever sent out, which only adds to the mystery of the ship's quick demise; to this day, there is still a sense of loss over the Fitzgerald's tragic defeat in her quest for a safe passage through a raging winter storm.

  • At 222 m, it was designed to measure just shy of the maximum length allowed to pass through the yet-unfinished St. Lawrence Seaway and the locks at Sault Ste. Marie; at the time of its launch, it was considered the largest freshwater freighter vessel to ever sail the Great Lakes.
  • Some mariners steadfastly believe that problems on a ship's launch day is a bad omen, and the June 8, 1958 launch of the Fitzgerald did not go quite as smoothly as planned: it took three tries to smash the champagne bottle that christened her, the launch was delayed by more than a half-hour when the launch crew struggled to release the keel blocks, and then the vessel crashed into a pier.
  • The Fitzgerald set and surpassed several records in its time; in 1964, it became the first Great Lakes shipping vessel to transport over a million tons of ore through the locks at Sault Ste. Marie (known as the Soo Locks) in one season.
  • A typical round trip for the Fitzgerald usually took five days as it sailed between Superior, Wisconsin, to Detroit, Michigan, and back, averaging roughly 47 of these round trips each season.
  • By November 1975, the Fitzgerald had sailed approximately 748 round trips, or a distance that would amount to roughly 44 trips around the world.
  • The ship's final resting place is protected by law, which ensures the wreck will lie undisturbed out of respect for those who lost their lives that fateful day.

Packaging:
Your coin is encapsulated and presented in a Royal Canadian Mint-branded maroon clamshell with a graphic beauty box.

Order your coin today!

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Specifications

  • No.147668
  • Mintage7,000
  • Composition99.99% pure silver
  • Finishproof
  • Weight (g) 31.39
  • Diameter (mm) 38
  • Edgeplain with edge lettering
  • Certificateserialized
  • Face value20 dollars
  • ArtistJohn Horton (reverse), Susanna Blunt (obverse)

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