Discussion in 'Off the Topic Forum' started by PA. Woodsman, Apr 29, 2008.
I Lost my best friend in that Storm!
Dan, was going out on Lake Michigan, on the the Grand Haven pier,with two friends. On the pier the winds were rough. Waves were strong enough to
flush them from the pier. Dan was never found.
There is much more to this story about Fred Shannon. Him and Tom Farnquist[sp?] were competing for the trophy from the ship. The bell. There each wanted it, and were not afraid to get the families involved, to get what they wanted. One thing that has not been mentioned is the location of the wreck. Its either very close to or on the border with Canada. You need Canada's permission to visit the wreck which is now off limits, and declared a, can't think of the word, but it means grave site.
The finding of the body happened by accident, close to the time Farnquist got permission to get the bell. It was not in the ship but in the area. Shannon bragged about finding the body which caused quite a stir with the family members. Shipping historians have said the body was NOT from the Fitz as the life vest was not the type used in the days the Fitz went down, It was much older. But we will never know what ship the body was off of because there will be no more dives to the ship, per the Canadian government.
Some Family members were pissed with what happened to the bell. It was to be left as it was when taken from the ship. But Farnquist, didn't like the way the bell looked and had it polished.
The loose Keel. It had happened before, and was fixed. But it was supposed to be loose again, but know one knows for sure, or it was covered up. To inspect the keel welds is not an easy thing. When a ship takes on ballast, it also takes on what ever else is in the water, mud is an example. This collects in the ballast tanks, and must be rinsed and shoveled out by hand, or flushed to a sump, where it can be pumped out. Not a pleasant or easy job, the area is not real big, between the bottom of the ship and the bottom of the cargo hold.
What is very strange about this is that the Fitz was supposedly on her last trip of the season. 2nd week of NOV? in the day the ships sailed into January. Very strange. The Holmer had just completed being lenghtened, and returned to service shortly after the Fitz sank. It had 96 foot addition added to the cargo hold and the Fitz was possibly a candidate for the same or slightly longer one. By 1980 the Holmer was laid up, due to lack of work, (Bethlehem had just taken delivery of 3 1000 foot vessels in the last 8 years) It sat for years and NOBODY wanted it. It could have had a boom put on her but the rumor was it would take away to much cargo capacity, so she went for scrap, at a very young age.
There is something also very interesting about this saga.
In November 1978 James King the chairman of the NTSB requested a trip on the Holmer but was denied. He instead traveled on another vessel. Sort of strange that the Chairman of the NTSB would be denied the trip when he has some control over there shipping operations? Maybe something going on that he didn't need to know about??
Good info, thanks. I have never read a book on the wreck, I definitely should apparently
When the Chairman of the NTSB requested the trip on the Holmer it was for a November trip. November is a nasty month on the lakes, and some of the biggest waves of the season usually happen then. He wanted to see for himself how the ship behaved in the large waves.
Now something else to think about. It was said there were heavy weather captains. There were, and still to an extent are. In the day, the 70's the weather forecasting left something to be desired. NOAA would say one thing and the opposite would happen. I was talking with a retired Captain from USS about the weather forecasts. He said they were not real accurate. He said more than once, the forecast was for wind, but under gale force, and trip was planned accordingly. But at times in this[ supposed] none gale force winds all that could be seen between the the front house and the stern house was the unloading boom. Everything in between was covered by water.
Wow-I'm really sorry to hear that...
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