TIL: In 1958 Great Lakes freighter Carl D. Bradley sank with the loss of 33 lives. Over the objections of witnesses who survived the sinking, the Coast Guard concluded the ship did not break in two, shielding its owners from liability. In 1997 the shipwreck was discovered in 2 sections 90 feet apart

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I came across this story from a combination of Wikipedia & YouTube and I’m going to add in the post to explain the additional context. A) The ship itself had been built in 1927 and was starting to show its age for the time. On top of concerns being raised that the technology of ships from its era didn’t have the same structural integrity of modern ships built with improved technology in ship design. B) The ship had an awful reputation for structural integrity with the crew joking the ship was “held together with rust” and the captain wrote letters expressing his own personal concern regarding the ship. C) The 1958 season had been a bad year for the shipping industry and the Carl D. Bradley’s owners had sent the ship through a storm as a last ditch effort to recoup the financial losses it had suffered by making additional deliveries in the closing stages of the season D) Despite the poor reputation of the ship, the Coast Guard had recently certified the structural integrity of the ship and declared it safe E) The Captain had a reputation for sailing through heavy weather which he did once again on the Carl D. Bradley’s final voyage F) Survivors stated the ship broke in two pieces with that break being the instigator that directly led to the sinking. To deny this detail would be like insisting Titanic survivors were wrong for claiming the ship hit an iceberg G) Since the Coast Guard had certified the ship as safe, it was argued there was a conflict of interest as well H) Because the Great Lakes are fresh water, its freighters are significantly older than oceangoing freighters with the Great Lakes shipping fleet being dominated by ships of similar age to the Carl D. Bradley. Creating a situation where there were massive industry-wide ramifications if this investigation concluded other ships had a similar flaw due to their pre-WWII construction time period. I) Victims and their families argued the Coast Guard investigation was closed to outside observers and its results couldn’t be challenged. The Coast Guard classified the sinking as an “Act of God.” J) The families were still awarded a settlement, but it was significantly smaller than what many had expected it to be considering the circumstances. K) As the title suggests, the ship was later found broken in two pieces.


And that’s the last time the military protected corporate interests over the lives of citizens/s


The wikipedia page reads more that it was the ships owners that had hired a submarine to survey the wreckage that said it was in one section, not the Coast Guard.


Does any one know where the love of God goes When the waves turn the minutes to hours?


My grandpa was from Rogers City. He had a painting of the sinking of the Carl D. Bradley in his living room and I remember asking my grandma about it once when I was maybe 10 years old. She told me that bunch of my grandpas school friends died in the wreck. I guess back in the day, if you didn’t go to college, you had two options growing up in Rogers City, either work in the limestone quarries or work on the freighters, so he had a bunch of family and friends that were sailors. Very cool to see this show up in a TIL