Theres lots of errors in the song , like, It was NOT even headed for Cleveland, it was owned by Oglebay Norton which is HQ'd in Cleveland. The Fitzgerald was actually heading for Zug Island on the Detroit R.
The Fitzgerald hadd a history of design problems and continued maintenace issues.
Like, it was too long and was subject to flex and to hogging. Hogging cracks led to at least 2 major refits to put side stiffeners to add strength and to repair cracks in the center superstructure.
The cracks led to several of the center hatchcovers being broken due to flex on the hinges (Apparently these hatch covers dont have much play . So in 1975 (August) A USCGinspection stated that the hatch covers and stiffeners needed major work and after winter layover the Fitzgerald would need these things repaired or it wouldnt be allowed to sil in the spring (BUT THEY LET THE BOAT GO TO FINISH OUT THE 75 SAILING SEASON WHICH ENDED BEFORE THANKSGIVING).
The Fitzgerals had been given 2 approvals by ABS to "LOWER THE FREEBOARD" so the damn thing was allowed to sail (loaded) with a total of over 4 additional feet of freeboard being lowered. It would sail looking like a WWII Japanese Battleship. On several times the lower freeboard had allowed the waves to break over the hatches.
Looking for a rogue wave to sink the boat kinda cops out th responsibility that was on the heads of the designer, Oglebay, the USCG, The ABS and the captain. This was a too long boat, too much flexing, frequent cracking from its design, and it still was allowed to sail with it deck just above water and bad hatches and cracks amidships. It woulda happened anyway.