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Shipwrecked: Rage of the Great Lakes

Maple Leaf This item is only available for Canadian orders.

Catalogue Number:  MAPL11
Producer:  Maplerock Entertainment Inc.
Subject:  Canadian History, Canadian Social Studies, Documentary, History, Social Sciences, Social Studies
Language:  English
Grade Level:  9 - 12, Post Secondary, Adult
Country Of Origin:  Canada
Copyright Year:  2004
Running Time:  46:15


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The largest graveyard of shipwrecks in the world is an area inside the North American continent. The Great Lakes have seen the loss of 10,000 ships and 20,000 lives in the past 325 years. This program explores the reasons for so much maritime death and destruction while focusing on five of the most fascinating shipwreck stories.

  • The first known shipwreck dates back to 1679 when The Griffon mysteriously disappeared on her maiden voyage. Its wreck, considered the holy grail of shipwreck hunters, has never been found. 
  • The most well-known shipwreck, the iron-ore carrier, The Edmund Fitzgerald, was immortalized by the Gordon Lightfoot song. On November 10, 1975, the ship disappeared during a massive storm on Lake Superior. The exact cause of its sinking is still a mystery. 
  • At 2 am in the morning of September 8, 1860, the luxury liner The Lady Elginwas rammed by a small lumber freighter. Despite heroic rescue efforts, almost 500 lives were lost. Her wreck was discovered 130 years later by the determined wreck hunter Harry Zych. 
  • The worst maritime disaster on the Great Lakes occurred on July 24, 1915 when The Eastland capsized while still moored on the Chicago River. 844 lives were lost within minutes. 
  • And finally we meet the sole survivor of the sinking of The Daniel J. Morrell, a bulk cargo freighter that disappeared on Lake Superior, November 28, 1966, 9 years before the loss of The Edmund Fitzgerald. Dennis Hale’s story of surviving for 38 hours on a raft in frigid waters defies all odds.

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