Andrea Doria sank 57 years ago today

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Fifty-seven years ago today the Swedish passenger ship Stockholm and the Italian passenger ship Andrea Doria collided on the edge of a heavy fog bank off Nantucket, Mass., and the Andrea Doria sank within hours.

The Stockholm crashed into the starboard side of the Andrea Doria near the middle, creating a large hole and breaking open several of the ship’s watertight compartments; 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued, but 46 people died.

The Andrea Doria was the last major trans-Atlantic passenger vessel to sink before aircraft became the preferred method of travel.

Although the exact cause of the July 25, 1956, accident has never been determined, it appears to have been a “radar-assisted” collision, with the officers of the watch on both vessels misinterpreting radar images and taking the wrong actions, according to Bryant’s Maritime Blog, which notes the anniversaries of historic commercial nautical accidents.

Launched in 1951, the Andrea Doria was said to be the biggest, fastest, safest and most beautiful ship in Italy after World War II.

The wreck of the 701-foot Andrea Doria, lying on its starboard side on the bottom 160 feet below the surface, was a popular destination for divers, but it is considered a dangerous ship to explore. The wreck is at 40.49167°N 69.85000°W.

Click here for a clip from a 1988 documentary that shows news footage of the original sinking of the jewel of Italy’s luxury liners.

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Comments

One comment on “Andrea Doria sank 57 years ago today

  1. Ryck Lydecker, BoatU.S.

    Growing up in the New Jersey suburbs of New York City, I was fascinated with the great transatlantic liners. I vividly remember the thrill of boarding the Queen Elizabeth in the summer of 1953 to see off my aunt who was sailing to England.
    In the next pier lay a sleek Italian liner with the name Andrea Doria. As I stood on the promenade deck looking across the slip at the then-new ship, a British sailor told me some things about the vessel, then the talk of New York Harbor. But all I remembered was his saying that the Italian sailors had an aversion to sailing on the Andrea Doria.
    “There’s something wrong with that ship, they just don’t like her,” he said, words that came back to me on July 27, 1956 when my aunt to took me to the harbor again. This time I got to watch the Stockholm limp into port with its crumpled bow and cargo of more than 500 Andrea Doria survivors.

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