4 Lives Lost To Storm in Duluth Canal, Remembered In Ceremony 55 Years Later

DULUTH, Minn. — Saturday’s storm reminded us of one on a fateful a day 55 years ago, which caused Lake Superior’s waves to claim the lives of 4 young men. They were honored with a ceremony in front of the lift bridge.

On April 30th 1967, three teenage boys, the Halverson’s, went to check out the storm in the canal, when the waves knocked them from where they were out on the pier.

The U.S. Coast Guard responded, but U.S. Coast Guardsman Edgar Culbertson was swept off too. A friend of his, Tom Mackay has kept a memorial and ceremony going for him and the boys for 55 years. After Mackay’s recent passing, the ceremony continued on today in memory of all of them.

“It’s just been an honor to go with this for all these years and honoring a man and the three boys that lost their lives,” Mary Gaidas, Tom Mackays sister said.

She added that this year is harder without her brother Tom around, and despite the stormy weather, people still came to show support, including some boats in the canal.

“The Heritage Tug came and the Coast Guard and the Honor Guard and it really strikes a chord, and I’m so proud of my brother for keeping this going in remembrance of someone it’s a pretty emotional day,” Gaidas said.

The Halverson boys would have been 72 and 71 years old, and Culbertson would have been 87.

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