Failure Magazine: The Sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell

Michael Schumacher, author of “Torn in Two,” on the 1966 sinking of the six-hundred-foot Morrell, which broke in half during a storm on Lake Huron.

Torn in Two (Michael Schumacher)The story of the sinking of the Daniel J. Morrell is the story of two six-hundred-foot ships—the Morrell, and its sister ship, the Edward Y. Townsend. Both behemoths went into service in 1906 and both spent the next six decades hauling cargo on the Great Lakes, mostly uneventfully, except for a 1909 incident in which the Morrell collided with the Henry Phipps, another six-hundred-footer, at Whitefish Point, Michigan. But on November 29, 1966, the Morrell came apart while attempting to navigate Lake Huron during a powerful late autumn storm. Most notable, perhaps, is that the Townsend sailed through the same storm and could easily have met the same fate, as a 16-inch crack in its spar deck—in the same general area where the Morrell split—was discovered when it returned to port.

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Published in: Failure Magazine
By: Jason Zasky