Runner Up Florida Book Festival – History
Collectively, the Great Lakes cover an area of approximately 800 miles from east to west and 500 miles from north to south; they contain 21% of the world’s surface fresh water. Storms on the Lakes with winds up to 60 miles per hour and waves up to 20 feet in height are not uncommon. While major storms are generally thought of as being the cause of ships lost, and indeed they are the primary cause, many other ships have been lost through groundings, collisions, fires, and naval battles. While most people today would guess that there have been 100–500 shipwrecks on the Lakes over the years, the actual number is 6,000+ with the loss of more than 30,000 lives.