Whitefish Point, MI (Off Shore) EDMUND FITZGERALD Sinking, Nov 1975

Edmund Fitzgerald, photo from NOAA Edmund Fitzgerald, abt 1965-66 Memorial Bell

ORE CARRIER SINKS IN LAKE SUPERIOR STORM.

OIL SLICK, DEBRIS SPOTTED ON LAKE.

Sault Ste. Marie, Mich. (AP) -- An oil slick, two empty lifeboats and debris were spotted today on Lake Superior near where the ore carried EDMUND FITZGERALD sank in a storm with 29 crewmen aboard, the Coast Guard said.

"It has sunk. The ship disappeared off the radar scopes in the area and we've searched 18 hours for the vessel. We classify as sunk," declared BRYAN NORRIS, a spokesman at Coast Guard headquarters in Washington.

Ogelbay Norton Co., owner of the 17-year-old freighter, identified the Fitzgerald's Captain as E. R. McSORLEY of Toledo, Ohio, and said 28 others, including a cadet sailor, were onboard.

Some debris was reported washed up at Pancake Point on the Canadian shore near Batchawana Bay, about 50 miles northwest of Sault Ste. Marie. Ontario police were dispatched to the area to search for survivors.

"We're finding a lot of debris and we've found a couple of life boats. But we haven't found any people alive or dead," said Chief JERE BENNETT of the Coast Guard air rescue station at Sault Ste. Marie in Michigan's eastern Upper Peninsula.

"There's a lot of debris, but we haven't found anything that's a part of the ship, only things that would have washed off," he said.

The freighters Roger Blau Wilfred Sykes joined the vessel Arthur M. Anderson to search the area for survivors. Coast Guard C130 airplanes and helicopters were surveying the area.

Continued