SS Arthur M. Anderson

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SS Arthur M Anderson in August 2002 at a Duluth ore dock.
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Name: SS Arthur M. Anderson
Namesake: Arthur Marvin Anderson
Operator: Great Lakes Fleet, Inc.
Builder: American Ship Building Company[1] of Lorain, Ohio
Yard number: 868
Launched: 16 February 1952[1]
Acquired: 7 August 1952
Status: In service as of 2014
General characteristics
Class & type: AAA class of lake freighter
Tonnage: 26,525 gross tonnage[1]
Length: 647 ft (197 m) (as built)[1]
767 ft (234 m) feet, note: During the winter of 1974-75, she was lengthened 120' by Fraser Shipyards to an overall length of 767 feet[1]
Beam: 70 ft (21 m)[1]
Draft: 36 ft (11 m)[1]
Capacity: 25,300 tons [1]

The SS Arthur M. Anderson is a cargo ship of the laker type. It is famous for being the last ship to be in contact with the SS Edmund Fitzgerald (before it sank 10 November 1975). The Anderson was also the first rescue ship on the scene in a vain search for Fitzgerald survivors (there were none).


The SS Arthur M. Anderson came out of the drydock of the American Ship Building Company of Lorain, Ohio in 1952.[1] It had a length of 647 feet, 70 foot beam, a 36 foot depth,[1] and a gross tonnage of roughly 20,000 tons.[citation needed] It was second of eight of the AAA class of lake freighters; the others being, in order, the SS Philip R. Clarke, SS Cason J. Callaway, SS Reserve, SS J.L. Mauthe, SS Armco, SS Edward B. Greene, and the SS William Clay Ford. It, along with the SS Philip R. Clarke and SS Cason J. Callaway, was built for the Pittsburgh Steamship Division of U.S. Steel. The Anderson's sea-trials commenced on 7 August 1952, and it loaded its first cargo at the Two Harbors dock on August 12. It received several refits in its life including a new 120 foot midsection which added about 6,000 tons to its gross tonnage. Bringing the total to about 26,000 tons. In 1981 it received a self unloading boom which improved its cargo loading and unloading. It is unique among the three Great Lakes Fleet steamships in that it has a softer midsection that prohibits loading as much cargo as the others; roughly 1500 tons less.[1][2]

The SS Arthur M. Anderson unloading at Huron, Ohio in 2008.

Its namesake, Arthur Marvin Anderson, was director of U.S. Steel at the time.

It has been a member of the U.S. Steel fleet its entire life, and is still sailing as of 2014.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Vessel Documentation Query". NOAA/US Coast Guard. 2009-04-29. Retrieved 2010-02-15. 
  2. ^ ABS trim and stability booklet

External links[edit]

Media related to SS Arthur M. Anderson at Wikimedia Commons