12 JUL 2018: At 8:46 am Tuesday, three young men, Joe Lorenz, Kwin Morris and Jeff Guy, departed on a trip to paddleboard across Lake Superior, the largest, coldest, and most dangerous of the Great Lakes. The journey, which has never been done before was a fundraiser for the Great Lakes Shipwreck Historical Society. 

"The new goal of this trip is to raise more than $20,000," said Morris, age 31. He and the two other paddle boarders are co-founders of Stand Up for Great Lakes, a non-profit organization set up to protect the Great Lakes and educate others about our freshwater resources.
 
At twelve hours and 45 km (28 miles) into their 98 km (61mile) paddle the men laid a wreath at the same spot the Edmund Fitzgerald sank more than 42 years ago.

The biodegradable wreath had 29 white carnations representing the members of the crew that went down in a terrible storm November 10, 1975 and one single carnation representing all who were lost on the great lakes.

The story of the ship's fate was made famous by the Gordon Lightfoot song "The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald."
 
The men were invited to a special ceremony in November of 2017 honouring the members of that ship and all sailors who've lost their lives on the Great Lakes. Lorenz, Morris and Guy were each asked to ring the magnificent brass bell salvaged from the wreck site in their memory.
 
Dressed in their dry suits, the men paddled the lake known for 11.5 metre (38 foot) waves, fog that has brought down freighters, and cold-water temperatures.
 
The journey began from Sinclair Cove, Ontario, near centuries-old pictographs of paddlers painted on the cliffs by the Ojibwe.
 
The men are finished up at Whitefish Point in Michigan's Upper Peninsula, the site of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum on the morning of Wednesday, July 11th at 6:00 am.
 
The first crossing for the three men was Lake Michigan in 2015, a 96 km (60-mile) and 23-hour journey, raising funds for the Great Lakes Alliance.

In June 2017 they crossed Lake Huron and raised money for Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary. The 144 km (90-mile) paddle journey took over 28 hours to complete.

Each paddle boarder carries all of his supplies on his own paddleboard: food, extra clothes, and straws that filter drinking water from the lake. There are many dangers they'll face, aside from hypothermia and fatigue. High winds can crop up, leading to big waves, and they will pass through shipping lanes in the dark.
 
"Fog can happen very quickly," says Corey Adkins Director of Photojournalism for 9 & 10 News (a CBS affiliate) "That's what caused a lot of the shipwrecks on Lake Superior. We don't want to lose anyone in the fog."
 
To give their families peace of mind, they have taken precautions, such as having two boats follow them with an emergency medical technician on one and crew ready to jump in for a rescue on the other.


 

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