S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald Requiem for the Toledo Express


Author, Raymond Ramsay M. Sc. was a member of the original design team at Great Lakes Engineering Works during the design and construction of the largest and fastest ore carrier ever built on the Great Lakes.

The author, together with a group of volunteers retired ship captains and maritime experts have uncovered secrets and unveiled evidence to prove why the ore carrier sank to the bottom of Lake Superior on November 10, 1975.

Requiem for the Toledo Express is $17.99 +  $4.00 shipping and handling for 21.99 total price is $21.99 shipping included.  S.S. Edmund Fitzgerald - Requiem for the Toledo Express is now available

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Book Review
FITZ Book Review 2009M0622

Requiem for the Toledo Express; A Search for Truth
By Raymond Ramsay M.Sc.

A review by Thom Holden, Director
Lake Superior Maritime Visitor Center, Duluth, Minnesota

This is a “must read” book for anyone more than casually interested in the wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald, lost November 10, 1975, on Lake Superior. Historians are always trying to get back to the beginning and talk with witnesses and participants in the making of history.  In the case of the Edmund Fitzgerald's loss with all 29 persons on board, we cannot go back to that night to gather their individual accounts of the loss.

However, we can go even further back in time right to the design and construction of the vessel itself at the Great Lakes Engineering Works at Ecorse, Michigan, and learn from a young, but experienced naval architect trained in England and Canada.  That person is the author of this book, Raymond Ramsay.  He was there working on the Fitzgerald from keel laying to launch to sea trails and beyond.

Now an elder statesman among naval architects with a distinguished career, Ramsay reveals his thoughts and experiences about the vessel's design, construction, materials, shipyard practices, and more in this fascinating book.  Unfettered by the potential of employer retribution and with a lifetime of experience, Ramsey dares to explore many of the unstated questions which have lingered in the shadows of the Edmund Fitzgerald's mystique. Ramsay's ideas are original, yet formed and tested in the give and take of fellow experts, all part of Casualty Research Associates (CRA).
Ramsay notes a strong sense of “keeping to the company line” among the industry and its overseers throughout the investigation. The pre-investigation conclusion was that this casualty was an “Act of God” and totally unforeseeable at the time. He believes there is enough factual evidence gathered in the decades since the casualty and the incomplete nature of the official investigations by the Coast Guard and National Transportation Safety Board to provide legal cause to reopen the investigation, a request which must come from the families who are often bound by commitments made at the time they made financial settlements back in the 1970s.

Ramsay does not portend that he or this book asked all the right questions nor found all the best answers.  Still, it is the only reference available from someone who really was there right from the beginning; someone who saw the daily construction, was onboard during sea trials, and kept a close eye on the vessel from beginning to end and beyond.

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