The Wreck of the Daniel J. Morrell

It was 49 years ago tonight that the Great Lakes ore freighter, The Daniel J. Morrell sunk on Lake Huron. Unlike the more famous Edmunds Fitzsgerald, there was one survivor of the Daniel J. Morrell, Dennis Hale.


Mr. Hale died earlier this month.

His tale of survival in a Great Lakes November gale Here

9 Comments on The Wreck of the Daniel J. Morrell

  1. Just for kicks, The Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald was stolen note for note from an old Irish song ” I wish I was back home in Derry.”
    “Oh, oooh, I wish I was back home in Derry”

  2. I saw Mr. Hale talk about surviving the wreck on a local PBS program “Outdoor Wisconsin.”

    What the Detroit Free Press left out is that Hale had an after life experience while on the raft. A voice asked him what he had learned during his life and he looked into his hands to see his life pass before him. He was lead down a hill by one of his fellow crewmen to be reunited with them all only to be suddenly called away because it wasn’t his time yet.

    He also wrote a book about what happened and had been out promoting it.

    In the program they said the Coast Guard accident report found that the Morrell had been made of the same kind of steel they used on the Titanic (it had been built 3 years earlier). Like the Titanic, the high sulfur content steel became brittle in cold water.

    Hale figures the Morrell was caught between two big waves that lifted the bow and stern as the same time and left the center unsupported, so its own weight ripped it in half.

  3. It’s a little different, actually. “Edmund Fitzgerald” only took the most monotonous part of the tune and played it over and over…and over…and over…and over…


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