|Port of registry:||Genoa, Italy|
|Builder:||Ansaldo Shipyards of Genoa, Italy|
|Launched:||16 June 1951|
|Maiden voyage:||14 January 1953|
|In service:||16 June 1951|
|Out of service:||26 July 1956|
|Fate:||Capsized and sank on 26 July 1956, after colliding with the Stockholm|
|Class and type:||Andrea Doria-class ocean liner|
|Length:||213.80 m (701 ft 5 in)|
|Beam:||27.50 m (90 ft 3 in)|
|Installed power:||Steam turbines|
|Speed:||23 knots (43 km/h)|
SS Andrea Doria pronounced [an'dr?:a 'd?:rja], was an ocean liner for the Italian Line (Società di navigazione Italia) home-ported in Genoa, Italy, known for her sinking in 1956, where 46 people died.
Named after the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, the ship had a gross register tonnage of 29,100 and a capacity of about 1,200 passengers and 500 crew. For a country attempting to rebuild its shattered economy and reputation after World War II, Andrea Doria was an icon of Italian national pride. Of all Italy's ships at the time, Andrea Doria was the largest, fastest and supposedly safest. Launched on 16 June 1951, the ship began her maiden voyage on 14 January 1953.
On 25 July 1956, while Andrea Doria was approaching the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, bound for New York City, the eastbound Stockholm of the Swedish American Line collided with her in one of history's most infamous maritime disasters. Struck in the side, the top-heavy Andrea Doria immediately started to list severely to starboard, which left half of her lifeboats unusable. The consequent shortage of lifeboats could have resulted in significant loss of life, but the ship stayed afloat for over 11 hours after the collision. The calm, appropriate behavior of the crew, together with improvements in communications, and the rapid response of other ships, averted a disaster similar in scale to that of Titanic in 1912. While 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued and survived, 46 people on the ship died as a direct consequence of the collision. The evacuated luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning. This accident remains the worst maritime disaster to occur in United States waters since the sinking of Eastland in 1915.
The incident and its aftermath were heavily covered by the news media. While the rescue efforts were both successful and commendable, the cause of the collision with Stockholm and the loss of Andrea Doria generated much interest in the media and many lawsuits. Largely because of an out-of-court settlement agreement between the two shipping companies during hearings immediately after the disaster, no determination of cause was ever formally published. Although greater blame appeared initially to fall on the Italian liner, more recent discoveries have indicated that a misreading of radar on the Swedish ship initiated the collision course, leading to errors on both ships.
Andrea Doria had a length of 212 m (697 ft), a beam of 27 m (90 ft), and a gross register tonnage of 29,100. The propulsion system consisted of steam turbines attached to twin screws, enabling the ship to achieve a service speed of 23 knots (43 km/h), with a top speed of 26 knots (48 km/h). Andrea Doria was neither the largest vessel nor the fastest of its day: those distinctions went to RMS Queen Elizabeth and United States, respectively. Instead, the famous Italian architect Minoletti designed Andrea Doria for luxury.
Because it sailed the southern Atlantic routes, Andrea Doria was the first ship to feature three outdoor swimming pools, one for each class (first, cabin, and tourist). When fully booked, the ship was capable of accommodating 1,241 passengers in three different classes; 218 in First Class, 320 in Cabin Class, and 703 in Tourist Class. As was the rule aboard transatlantic passenger liners, each passenger class was strictly segregated to specific parts of the ship. First Class accommodations were located amidships on the upper decks, Cabin Class accommodations were located just abaft of First Class, and Tourist Class accommodations were divided between the bow and aft ends and were connected by corridors that ran the full length of the ship. Each class had its own separate dining room, lounges, and social halls, designated areas of open deck space and enclosed promenades, and even their own swimming pools with verandas. In addition, 563 crew members were charged with operating and maintaining the ship. Over $1 million was spent on artwork and the decor of the cabins and public rooms, including a life-sized statue of Admiral Doria.
Equipped with a double hull, Andrea Doria was divided into 11 watertight compartments. Any two of these could be filled with water without endangering the ship's safety. Andrea Doria also carried enough lifeboats to accommodate all passengers and crew. She carried a total of 16 steel lifeboats, eight positioned on each side of the ship, coming in three different designs; two 58-person launches for emergency use, two 70-person motorboats with inboard radio transmitters, and 12 146-person hand-propelled standard boats. Furthermore, the ship was equipped with the latest early-warning radar. However, despite its technological advantages, the ship had serious flaws relating to its seaworthiness and safety.
Confirming predictions derived from model testing during the design phase, the ship developed a huge list when hit by any significant force. This was especially apparent during its maiden voyage, when Andrea Doria listed 28° after being hit by a large wave off Nantucket. The ship's tendency to list was accentuated when the fuel tanks were nearly empty, which was usually at the end of a voyage.
This stability issue became a focus of the investigation after the sinking, as it was a factor in both the capsizing and the crew's inability to lower the port-side lifeboats. The bulkheads of the watertight compartments extended only up to the top of A Deck, and a list greater than 20° allowed water from a flooded watertight compartment to pass over its top into adjacent compartments. In addition, the design parameters allowed the lowering of the lifeboats at a maximum 15° list. Beyond this limit, up to half of the lifeboats could not be deployed.
At the end of World War II, Italy had lost half its merchant fleet through wartime destruction and Allied forces seeking war reparations. The losses included the scuttling/bombing of Rex, a former Blue Riband holder. Furthermore, the country was struggling with a collapsed economy. To show the world that the country had recovered from the war, and to reestablish the nation's pride, the Italian Line commissioned two new vessels of similar design in the early 1950s. The first was to be named Andrea Doria, after the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria. The second vessel, which was launched in 1953, was to be named Cristoforo Colombo after explorer Christopher Columbus.
These ships were intended to enter use on the Italian Line's main service between Genoa and New York, which was commonly advertised as the "Sunny Southern Route" alongside Saturnia, Vulcania and Conte Biancamano, which were among the handful of Italian liners to survive the war. However, as popular as these vessels were, all three were more than two decades old and had somewhat slower service speeds. Thus, it was the line's intention to use the new Andrea Doria and Cristoforo Colombo to establish a new express service to New York. While the three older liners followed a route that meandered throughout the Mediterranean with additional stops at ports including the Azores, Lisbon, Barcelona and Palermo, the two new faster ships would make only three ports of call between Genoa and New York: at Cannes, Naples and Gibraltar.
Construction of Andrea Doria started as Yard No. 918 at Ansaldo Shipyard in Genoa. On 9 February 1950, the ship's keel was laid on the No. 1 slipway, and on 16 June 1951, Andrea Doria was launched. During the ceremony, the ship's hull was blessed by Giuseppe Siri, Cardinal Archbishop of Genoa, and christened by Mrs. Giuseppina Saragat, wife of the former Minister of the Merchant Marine Giuseppe Saragat.
Initially, Andrea Doria had been scheduled to depart Genoa on her maiden voyage on 14 December 1952, but amid reports of machinery problems during sea trials, the departure was delayed to 14 January 1953. Following the Italian Line's advertised route, she collected 794 passengers (152 First Class, 157 Cabin Class, 485 Tourist Class) before heading into the open Atlantic for New York. During the ship's maiden voyage, she encountered heavy storms on the final approach to New York, listing a full 28°. Nevertheless, Andrea Doria completed her maiden voyage on 23 January, only a few minutes behind schedule, and received a welcoming delegation that included New York Mayor Vincent R. Impellitteri.
The 51st westbound crossing of Andrea Doria to New York began as a typical run on the North Atlantic. Her most recent eastbound crossing from New York had concluded on 14 July, and after a three-day turnaround, the ship was prepared to make another trek across the Atlantic, which was scheduled to begin from Genoa on Tuesday, 17 July. On this run, she was booked to roughly 90% of her total passenger capacity, with 1,134 passengers travelling aboard her: 190 in first class, 267 in cabin class and 677 in tourist class; with a crew of 572, a total of 1,706 persons were aboard.
On the morning of 17 July, boarding at the pier at Genoa began at 8 a.m. as Andrea Doria took on her first batch of passengers. In all, 277 passengers embarked at Genoa; 49 first class, 72 cabin class and 156 tourist class. Among those boarding in first class were Hungarian ballet dancers Istvan Rabovsky and Nora Kovach, who had defected from the Soviet bloc to the United States just three years earlier.[circular reference]Andrea Doria departed Genoa at 11 a.m. on the first leg of her journey.
Her first port of call was at Cannes, on the French Riviera, where she arrived in mid-afternoon that same day. Only a handful of passengers boarded there, 48 in all: 30 first class, 15 cabin class and only three tourist class. Among them was one of Andrea Dorias most famous passengers, Hollywood actress Ruth Roman, who was travelling with her three-year-old son Richard. From Cannes Andrea Doria then proceeded 400 nautical miles (700 km; 500 mi) to the southeast to Naples, where she arrived later the following morning to take on the bulk of her passengers. A total of 744 came aboard at Naples: another 85 in first class, 161 in cabin class and 498 in tourist class. Most of those in tourist class were emigrants from impoverished regions of southern Italy on their way to new lives in America. She departed Naples just after 6 p.m., making her final port of call two days later while dropping anchor off Gibraltar. After collecting her final 65 passengers (26 first class, 19 cabin class, 20 tourist class), she proceeded onto the open Atlantic for New York.
On Wednesday, 25 July, just before noon, Stockholm, a passenger liner of the Swedish American Line, departed New York Harbor on her 103rd eastbound crossing across the Atlantic to her home port of Gothenburg, Sweden. At 12,165 tons and 160 metres (525 ft) in length, roughly half the size of Andrea Doria, Stockholm was the smallest passenger liner on the North Atlantic run during the 1950s. Completed in 1948, Stockholm was of a much more practical design than Andrea Doria. Originally built to accommodate only 395 passengers in two classes, Stockholm was designed more for comfort than the luxury and opulence found aboard Andrea Doria, because the Swedish-American Line was aware that the age of transatlantic passenger travel was coming to an end with the rapid growth of air travel. However, they did not envision the massive surge in tourism that arose during the 1950s. As a result, the Swedish-American Line withdrew Stockholm from service in 1953 for an overhaul that included an addition to her superstructure to provide space for accommodations for an additional 153 passengers, increasing her maximum passenger capacity to 548. This proved to be a successful move, as by 1956 Stockholm had gained a worthy reputation on the North Atlantic. Also, because the Stockholm sailed close to the Arctic Ocean, it was designed with a strong, icebreaking bow, which turned out to be a major factor in her survival, and the fatal damage to Andrea Doria.
Stockholm left New York almost booked to capacity with 534 passengers and a crew of 208. She was commanded by Captain Harry Gunnar Nordenson, though Third Officer Johan-Ernst Carstens-Johannsen was on duty on the bridge at the time of the accident. This was his first time alone on the bridge of a ship, and he had been up since 06:00 that morning supervising baggage-loading and passenger-boarding in New York. Stockholm was following her usual course South of the Nantucket Lightship at a speed of about 18 knots (33 km/h), with clear skies. Meant to save time, this course nonetheless set the Stockholm twenty miles north of the recommended eastbound course for ships leaving the U.S., meaning that the ship sailed straight into incoming westward traffic. This was a clear violation of the 1953 North Atlantic Track Agreement to which the Swedish American Line was a signatory. Carstens-Johannsen estimated visibility at six nautical miles (11 km; 6.9 mi).
As Stockholm and Andrea Doria were approaching each other head-on in the heavily used shipping corridor, the westbound Andrea Doria had been traveling in heavy fog for hours. The captain had reduced speed slightly from 23.0 to 21.8 knots (42.6 to 40.4 km/h), activated the ship's fog-warning whistle, and had closed the watertight doors, all customary precautions while sailing in such conditions. However, the eastbound Stockholm had yet to enter what was apparently the edge of a fog bank, and was seemingly unaware of it and the movement of the other ship hidden within the fog. The waters of the North Atlantic south of Nantucket Island are frequently the site of intermittent fog, as the cold Labrador Current encounters the Gulf Stream.
As the two ships approached each other at a combined speed of 40 knots (74 km/h; 46 mph), in failing light, each was aware of the presence of another ship, but guided only by radar, they apparently misinterpreted each other's course. No radio communication was made between the two ships at first.
The original inquiry established that in the critical minutes before the collision, Andrea Doria gradually steered to its left, attempting a starboard-to-starboard passing, while Stockholm turned about 20° to its right, an action intended to widen the passing distance of a port-to-port passing. In fact, they were actually steering toward each other, narrowing, rather than widening, the passing distance. As a result of the extremely thick fog that enveloped Andrea Doria as the ships approached each other, the ships were quite close by the time visual contact was established. By then, the crews realized that they were on a collision course, but despite last-minute maneuvers, they could not avoid the collision.
In the last moments before impact, Stockholm turned hard to starboard (right) and was in the process of reversing her propellers, attempting to stop. Andrea Doria, remaining at her cruising speed of almost 22 knots (41 km/h; 25 mph) engaged in a hard turn to port (left), her captain hoping to outrun the collision. Around 11:10 p.m., the two ships collided, Stockholm striking the side of Andrea Doria.
When Andrea Doria and Stockholm collided at almost a 90° angle, Stockholms sharply raked ice breaking prow pierced Andrea Dorias starboard side about one-third of her length from the bow. It penetrated the hull to a depth of nearly 40 feet (12 m), and the keel. Below the waterline, five fuel tanks on Andrea Dorias starboard side were torn open, and they filled with thousands of tons of seawater. Meanwhile, air was trapped in the five empty tanks on the port side, causing them to float more readily, contributing to a severe list. The ship's large fuel tanks were mostly empty at the time of the collision, since the ship was nearing the end of her voyage, worsening the list.
Andrea Doria was designed with her hull divided into 11 watertight compartments, separated by steel bulkheads that ran across the width of her hull, rising from the bottom of the ship's hull up to A Deck. The only openings in the bulkheads were on the bottom deck, where watertight doors were installed for use by the engine crew and could be easily closed in an emergency. Her design specified that if any two adjacent watertight compartments were breached, she could remain afloat. In addition, following the rules and guidelines set by the International Conference for Safety of Life at Sea of 1948, Andrea Doria was designed to handle a list, even under the worst imaginable circumstances, but not one greater than 15°. However, the combination of the five flooded tanks on one side and the five empty tanks on the other left her with a list that, within a few minutes of the collision, exceeded 20°. While the collision itself penetrated only one of Andrea Dorias watertight compartments, the severe list would gradually pull the tops of the bulkheads along the starboard side below the level of the water, allowing seawater to flow down corridors, down stairwells, and any other way it could find into the next compartment in line. The collision had also torn into an access tunnel running from the generator room, which was located in the compartment directly aft of where the collision had happened, to a small room at the forward end of the tank compartment containing the controls for the tank pumps. But a fatal flaw in Andrea Dorias design existed, as at the point where the tunnel went through the bulkhead separating the two compartments, no watertight door was present. This allowed the generator room to flood rapidly, contributing to not only an increase in flooding, but also to a loss of electricity.
Initial radio distress calls were sent out by each ship, and in that manner, they learned each other's identities. Soon afterward, the messages were received by numerous radio and Coast Guard stations along the New England coast, and the world soon became aware that two large ocean liners had collided.
Andrea Doria sent this SOS call:
"SOS DE ICEH [this is Andrea Doria] SOS HERE AT 0320 GMT LAT. 40.30 N 69.53 W NEED IMMEDIATE ASSISTANCE"
Immediately after the collision, Andrea Doria began to take on water and started to list severely to starboard. Within minutes, the list was at least 18°. After the ships separated, Captain Calamai quickly brought the engine controls to "all stop". One of the watertight doors to the engine room may have been missing, though this issue was later determined to be moot. Much more importantly, however, crucial stability was lost by the earlier failure, during routine operations, to ballast the mostly empty fuel tanks as the builders had specified. (Filling the tanks with seawater as the fuel was emptied would have resulted in more costly procedures to refuel when port was reached.) Owing to the immediate rush of seawater flooding the starboard tanks, and because the port tanks had emptied during the crossing, the list was greater than would otherwise have been the case. As the list increased over the next few minutes to 20° or more, Calamai realized that no hope was left for his ship unless the list could be corrected.
In the engine room, engineers attempted to pump water out of the flooding starboard tanks, but to no avail. Only a small amount of fuel remained, and the intakes to pump seawater into the port tanks were now high out of the water, making any attempt to level the ship futile.
Aboard Stockholm, roughly 30 feet (10 m) of her bow had been crushed and torn away. Initially, the ship was dangerously down by the bow, but emptying the freshwater tanks soon raised the bow to within four inches (10 cm) of normal. A quick survey determined that the major damage did not extend aft beyond the bulkhead between the first and second watertight compartments. Thus, despite being down at the bow and having her first watertight compartment flooded, the ship was soon determined to be stable and in no imminent danger of sinking.
On Andrea Doria, the decision to abandon ship was made within 30 minutes of impact. A sufficient number of lifeboats for all of the passengers and crew were positioned on each side of the Boat Deck. Procedures called for lowering the lifeboats to be fastened alongside the glass-enclosed Promenade Deck (one deck below), where evacuees could step out of windows directly into the boats, which would then be lowered down to the sea. However, it was soon determined that half of the lifeboats, those on the port side, were unlaunchable due to the severe list, which left them high in the air. To make matters worse, the list also complicated normal lifeboat procedures on the starboard side. Instead of loading lifeboats at the side of the Promenade Deck and then lowering them into the water, it would be necessary to lower the boats empty, and somehow get evacuees down the exterior of the ship to water level to board. This was eventually accomplished through ropes and Jacob's ladders. In fear of causing a panic and stampeding of the starboard lifeboats, Captain Calamai decided against giving the order to abandon ship until help arrived. In the meantime, Second Officer Guido Badano made announcements over the loudspeaker system instructing passengers to put on their lifebelts and go to their designated muster stations.
A distress message was relayed to other ships by radio, making it clear that additional lifeboats were urgently needed. The first ship to respond to Andrea Dorias distress call was the 120-metre (390 ft) freighter Cape Ann of the United Fruit Company, which was returning to the United States after a trip to Bremerhaven, Germany. Upon receiving the message from the stricken Andrea Doria, Captain Joseph Boyd immediately set course for the site of the collision. With a crew of 44 aboard and only two 40-person lifeboats, the assistance Cape Ann could offer was limited, but within minutes, she was joined by other ships heeding the distress call. The US Navy transport USNS Private William H. Thomas, en route to New York from Livorno, Italy, with 214 troops and dependents also responded to the signal and made immediate progress towards the site. Her captain, John Shea, was placed in charge of the rescue operation by the US Navy and readily ordered his crew to prepare their eight usable lifeboats. Also joining the rescue were the US Navy destroyer escort USS Edward H. Allen.
44 nmi (81 km; 51 mi) east of the collision site, the French Line's Île de France was eastbound from New York en route to her home port of Le Havre, France, with 940 passengers and a crew of 826 aboard. At 44,500 tons and 225 metres (739 ft) in length, the 30-year-old luxury liner was among the largest passenger liners on the North Atlantic run. On that voyage, having left New York the same day as Stockholm, she was under the command of Captain Raoul de Beaudean, a well-respected veteran of the seas who had served the French Line for 35 years. Upon hearing of the collision and the distress call, de Beaudean was at first skeptical of the thought of a modern ship like Andrea Doria actually foundering, and knew that if he did steer back to the collision site only to find that Île de France was not needed, it would mean having to return to New York to refuel and delaying her passengers, which could have been a financial disaster for the French Line. At the same time, he knew that if his services were needed, the French Line would not question his actions in that case. Captain de Beaudean made an attempt to contact Andrea Doria to learn more about the situation, which was unsuccessful, but after making contact with Stockholm, Cape Ann, and Thomas, he quickly realized the severity of the situation and that the lives of over 1,600 people were at risk. He quickly turned Île de France around and set a direct course for the stricken Andrea Doria.
On board Andrea Doria, the launching of the eight usable lifeboats on the starboard side was yet another calamity of the night, as many of the boats left Andrea Doria only partially loaded with about 200 panicked crewmen and very few passengers.
While other ships nearby were en route, Captain Nordenson of Stockholm, having determined that his ship was not in any imminent danger of sinking, and after being assured of the safety of his mostly sleeping passengers, sent some of his lifeboats to supplement the starboard boats from Andrea Doria. In the first hours, many survivors transported by lifeboats from both ships were taken aboard Stockholm. Unlike the Titanic tragedy 44 years earlier, several other nonpassenger ships that heard Andrea Dorias SOS signal steamed as fast as they could, some eventually making it to the scene. Radio communications included relays from the other ships as Andrea Dorias radios had limited range. The United States Coast Guard from New York City also coordinated on land.
Arriving at the scene less than three hours after the collision, as he neared, Captain de Beaudean became concerned about navigating his huge ship safely between the two damaged liners, other responding vessels, lifeboats, and possibly even people in the water. Then, just as Île de France arrived, the fog lifted, and he was able to position his ship in such a way that the starboard side of Andrea Doria was somewhat sheltered. He ordered all exterior lights of Île de France to be turned on. The sight of the illuminated Île de France was a great emotional relief to many participants, crew and passengers alike.
Île de France managed to rescue the bulk of the remaining passengers by shuttling its 10 lifeboats back and forth to Andrea Doria, and receiving lifeboat loads from those of the other ships already at the scene (as well as the starboard boats from Andrea Doria). Some passengers on Île de France gave up their cabins to be used by the wet and tired survivors. Many other acts of kindness were reported by grateful survivors.
In all, 1,663 passengers and crew had been rescued from Andrea Doria. The badly damaged Stockholm, through the use of both her own lifeboats and those from the stricken Andrea Doria, took on a total of 545 survivors, of whom 234 were crew members from Andrea Doria; 129 survivors had been rescued by Cape Ann, 159 by Pvt. William H. Thomas, 77 by Edward H. Allen, including Captain Calamai and his officers, and one very fortunate American sailor who slept through the entire collision and evacuation had been lucky enough to be rescued from the abandoned, sinking liner by the tanker Robert E. Hopkins. Île de France undoubtedly played the largest role in the rescue, having taken on a total of 753 survivors.
Shortly after daybreak, a four-year-old Italian girl with head trauma and four seriously injured Stockholm crewmen were airlifted from that ship at the scene by helicopters sent by the Coast Guard and U.S. Air Force. A number of passengers and some crew were hospitalized upon arrival in New York.
Once the evacuation was complete, Captain Calamai of Andrea Doria shifted his attention to the possibility of towing the ship to shallow water. However, it was clear to those watching helplessly at the scene that the stricken ocean liner was doomed.
After all the survivors had been transferred onto various rescue ships bound for New York, Andrea Doria's remaining crew began to disembark - forced to abandon the ship. By 9:00 am, even Captain Calamai was in a rescue boat. The sinking began at 9:45am and by 10:00 that morning the Andrea Doria's starboard side dipped into the ocean and the three swimming pools were seen refilling with water. As the bow slid under, the stern rose slightly, and the port propeller and shaft became visible. As the port side slipped below the waves, some of the unused lifeboats snapped free of their davits and floated upside-down in a row. It was recorded that Andrea Doria finally sank bow first 10 hours after the collision, at 10:09 am on 26 July 1956. The ship had drifted 1.58 nautical miles (2.93 km) from the point of the collision in those 10 hours. Aerial photography of the stricken ocean liner capsizing and sinking won a Pulitzer Prize in 1957 for Harry A. Trask of the Boston Traveler newspaper.
Because of the scattering of Andrea Doria passengers and crew among the various rescue vessels, some families were separated during the collision and rescue. It was not clear who was where, and whether or not some persons had survived, until after all the ships with survivors arrived in New York. In all, six different ships had participated in the rescue of the passengers and crew of Andrea Doria, including the heavily damaged Stockholm, which was able to steam back to New York under its own power with a United States Coast Guard escort, but arrived later than the other ships.
During the wait, ABC Radio Network news commentator Edward P. Morgan, based in New York City, broadcast a professional account of the collision, not telling listeners that his 14-year-old daughter had been aboard Andrea Doria and feared dead. He did not know that Linda Morgan, who was soon labeled the "miracle girl", was alive and aboard Stockholm. The following night, after learning the good news, his emotional broadcast became one of the more memorable in radio news history.
Among Andrea Dorias passengers were Hollywood actress Ruth Roman and her three-year-old son, Richard. In the 1950 film Three Secrets, Roman had portrayed a distraught mother waiting to learn whether or not her child had survived a plane crash. She and her son were separated from each other during the collision and evacuation. Rescued, Roman had to wait to learn her child's fate, which resulted in a media frenzy for photos as she waited at the pier in New York City for her child's safe arrival aboard one of the rescue ships. Actress Betsy Drake, wife of movie star Cary Grant, also escaped from the sinking liner, as did Philadelphia mayor Richardson Dilworth and songwriter Mike Stoller (of the team Leiber and Stoller).
Assisted by the American Red Cross and news photographers, the frantic parents of four-year-old Norma Di Sandro learned that their injured daughter had been airlifted from Stockholm to a hospital in Boston, where the previously unidentified little girl had undergone surgery for a fractured skull. They drove all night from New York to Boston, with police escorts provided to their convoy in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. When they arrived, the child was still unconscious and the doctors said all that could be done was wait to see if she woke up. The little girl never regained consciousness, and succumbed to her injuries.
Other families also had their hopes of seeing loved ones again dashed, especially those who were meeting members of several young families immigrating to the United States in hope of new lives.
The pier in New York where Stockholm was heading was packed with newsreel photographers and television crews. All the major department stores and shoe stores had booths set up to give the arriving survivors clothing and shoes. Not many of the newspeople spoke Italian, so confusion occurred when the survivors were asked to take off the clothing they were just given, to be photographed putting the clothes on. But after just a few minutes, everyone was clothed and had shoes to wear.
The sinking produced a footnote in automotive history, as it resulted in the loss of the Chrysler Norseman, an advanced "one-off" prototype car that had been built for Chrysler by Ghia in Italy. The Norseman had been announced as a major attraction of the 1957 auto show circuit. However, it had not been shown to the public prior to the disaster, and was lost, along with other cars in Andrea Dorias 50-car garage.
The area of Andrea Dorias hull where Stockholms bow penetrated encompassed five passenger decks. On the uppermost of these decks, the Upper Deck, at least eight first-class cabins were destroyed. In all, six first-class passengers lost their lives. In cabin 46, Colonel Walter Carlin had been in the bathroom brushing his teeth at the time of the collision and miraculously survived, while his wife Jeanette was killed. Later aboard Stockholm, crewmen searching the wreckage of the mangled bow sighted the remains of a woman matching Carlin's description lodged in the wreckage, but before they could recover it debris became dislodged and the body fell into the sea. In direct line of Stockholms bow on the upper deck were cabins 52 and 54, which were occupied by Camille Cianfarra, a longtime foreign correspondent for The New York Times, his wife Jane, their eight-year-old daughter Joan and 14-year-old Linda Morgan, Jane's daughter from her previous marriage to American journalist Edward P. Morgan. Joan was killed instantly, while Camille died from severe injuries moments after the collision. Jane was seriously injured, but was rescued by some other passengers, among them Dr. Thure Peterson, who had been next door in cabin 56. He sustained only minor injuries, while his wife Martha was gravely wounded and was trapped along with Jane Cianfarra. After a long struggle to free her, largely on the part of her husband, Martha succumbed to her injuries a few hours after the collision. One deck below on the Foyer Deck, near the first-class entrance, Ferdinand Melly Thieriot, circulation director of The San Francisco Chronicle, along with his wife Frances (whose grandson is the actor Max Thieriot) were killed, as their suite was in direct line of Stockholms bow. Their 13-year-old son Peter, who occupied a cabin further down the corridor, survived.
On the decks below, titled A, B and C Decks, the loss of life was greater, as it was the location of several sections of tourist-class cabins. On A Deck, eleven passengers, consisting of ten women and one elderly clergyman, were all killed. In Cabin 230, three women, Margaret Carola, Christina Covino and Amelia Iazzetta, were killed instantly. Carola had been on board with her elderly mother Rosa Carola, who had also been assigned a berth in the cabin but because she suffered from a variety of health problems, she had been in the ship's infirmary at the time of the collision and survived. Covino and Iazzetta were both sisters from New York who were returning from a visit to Italy. They were accompanied by Iazzetta's husband Benevenuto, who had been berthed in another cabin and survived.
In the next cabin forward, Cabin 228, four more women lost their lives. Among them was Laura Bremermann, a young mother of two who was returning home to Fort Worth, Texas after visiting her native Italy. Two days before the disaster Bremermann sent a telegram to her husband Floyd asking him to meet her in New York. When he arrived to find her missing he inquired with the Italian line, who initially reported she was not on the passenger list, which Bremermann refuted using the telegram from his wife as proof. On B Deck, Andrea Dorias 50-car garage was staved in by the bow of Stockholm, but on C Deck, the worst loss of life occurred. A total of 26 people were killed in the collision section there, mostly Italian immigrant families.
Among those killed in the collision on C Deck was Opera singer Agnes Baratta, who at the time was a leading soprano of Milan's La Scala Opera House. She and her elderly mother Margherita Baratta had been en route to Redwood City, California, to visit her sister, after which Agnes had intended to audition for the San Francisco Opera House. Maria Theresina Imberlone, like the Barattas, was also bound for the San Francisco Bay Area, and was also killed in the collision. Imberlone's husband Giacomo and their 13-year-old son Giovanni, who shared another cabin, both survived.
Among the losses was that of Maria Sergio and her four children, 13-year-old Giuseppe, 10-year-old Anna Maria, seven-year-old Domenica, and four-year-old Rocco, who occupied a cabin on the starboard side of C Deck that was in direct line of the collision. She was traveling aboard Andrea Doria with her children on her way to South Bend, Indiana, where her husband, Ross Sergio, and their 17-year-old son Anthony, were waiting for them. Anthony Sergio had in fact sailed to the United States from Italy aboard Andrea Doria the previous April. Also traveling with them were Maria's sister Margaret and her husband Paul Sergio, who also happened to be Ross Sergio's brother. Paul and Margaret had emigrated to the U.S. prior to the voyage and had returned to Italy for a visit and to accompany Maria and the children back to Indiana. Both Paul and Margaret survived the sinking, and for years after the disaster, Paul was haunted by the memory of his four-year-old nephew Rocco, the youngest of his brother's children, who just hours prior to the collision had asked if he could spend the night with his uncle.
Also lost in the collision section of C Deck were Angelina Diana and her two youngest children, eight-year-old Biaggio and six-year-old Victoria. They had been en route to Hartford, Connecticut, where Angelina's husband Antonio and three of their older children were waiting. In a 2003 episode of the History Channel series Deep Sea Detectives featuring the story of Andrea Doria, show host and wreck diver John Chatterton met with Angelina Diana's son Gennaro and his daughter, whom he'd named Angelina, after her grandmother, and heard the story of how the disaster came to impact their family so profoundly. In speaking with Chatterton, Gennaro recalled excitedly waking up that morning and driving to New York with his father and two older sisters to meet the rest of their family, but as the survivors from Andrea Doria came ashore, they waited for five or six days until it was confirmed that Angelina, Biaggio and Victoria were among the 51 people who lost their lives in the disaster. Meanwhile, the younger Angelina explained how she grew up with a sense of great pride having been named after her grandmother, which was in turn mirrored with sadness in never having gotten to know her, or her aunt and uncle. She then gives Chatterton a green bottle containing a family jewel, asking him to place it on the wreck to honor their loved ones' memory, which Chatterton does later in the episode during a dive to the wrecksite.
In addition to the lives lost in the collision, three more of Andrea Dorias passengers died from injuries and ailments that occurred during and after the evacuation. Norma Di Sandro, a four-year-old Italian girl traveling in tourist class with her parents, Tullio and Filomena Di Sandro, was dropped on her head into a lifeboat by her panicked father. She was taken to Stockholm and subsequently airlifted to Brighton Marine Hospital in Boston, where she died from a fractured cranium without ever regaining consciousness. Carl Watres, a businessman from Manasquan, New Jersey, who was traveling in cabin class aboard Andrea Doria with his wife Lillian, died from a sudden heart attack while en route to New York aboard Stockholm. Angelina Grego, a 48-year-old, broke her back after falling into one of Ile de France lifeboats. She was taken to St. Claire's Hospital in New York City, where she lingered in immense pain until her death six months later.
After the ships had separated, as Stockholm crew members were beginning to survey the damage, a miraculous discovery was made. On the top deck of Stockholm, one of the crew came across Linda Morgan, who had been thrown from her bed on Andrea Doria as the two ships collided, and landed on Stockholms deck, suffering moderate but not life-threatening injuries. Others, unfortunately, were not as lucky, as five of Stockholms crew perished in the collision.
Several months of hearings were held in New York City in the aftermath of the collision. Prominent maritime attorneys represented both the ships' owners. Dozens of attorneys represented victims and families of victims. Officers of both ship lines had testified, including the officers in charge of each ship at the time of the collision, with more scheduled to appear later until an out-of-court settlement was reached, and the hearings ended abruptly.
Both shipping lines contributed to a settlement fund for the victims. Each line absorbed its own damages. For the Swedish-American Line, damages were estimated at $2 million, half for repairs to Stockholms bow, and half for lost business during repairs. The Italian Line sustained the loss of Andrea Dorias full value, estimated to be $30 million.
A U.S. Congressional hearing was also held, and provided some determinations, notably about the lack of ballasting specified by the builders during the fatal voyage and the resulting lack of seaworthiness of Andrea Doria after the collision.
While heavy fog was given as the primary cause of the accident, and it is not disputed that intermittent and heavy fog are both frequent and challenging conditions for mariners in that part of the ocean, these other factors have been cited:
Both lines had an incentive to limit the public discussion of Andrea Dorias structural and stability problems. Stockholms owners had another new ship, Gripsholm, under construction at Ansaldo Shipyard in Italy.Andrea Dorias designers and engineers had been scheduled to testify, but the hearings were abruptly concluded before their testimony could be heard due to the settlement agreement.
The Andrea Doria-Stockholm collision led to several rule changes in the immediate years following the incident to avoid a recurrence. Since this was essentially a radar-assisted collision event, in which over-use was made of poorly handled technology, shipping lines were required to improve training on the use of radar equipment. Also, approaching ships were required to make radio contact with one another. Both ships saw each other on their radar systems and attempted to turn. Unfortunately, one of the radar systems was poorly designed, resulting in the collision. Marine craft today are required to turn to starboard (right) in a head-on situation.
Unanswered questions about the tragedy, and questions of cause and blame, have intrigued observers and haunted survivors for over 50 years. The fact that Andrea Doria and Stockholm were speeding in heavy fog (21.8 knots and 18.5 knots, respectively, at the collision) and questions about their seaworthiness arose at the time. Captain Calamai never assumed another command because the Italian Line feared bad publicity. However, largely because the out-of-court settlement agreement between the two shipping companies ended the fact-finding that was taking place in the hearings immediately after the disaster, no resolution of the cause(s) was ever formally accomplished. This has led to continued development of information and a search for greater understanding, aided by newer technologies in over half a century since the disaster.
Recent discoveries using computer animation and newer undersea diving technology have shed additional light on some aspects.
Due to the luxurious appointments and initially good condition of the wreck, with the top of the wreck lying initially in 160 feet (50 m) of water, Andrea Doria has been a frequent target of treasure divers. It is commonly referred to as the "Mount Everest of scuba diving." The comparison to Mt. Everest originated after a July 1983 dive on Andrea Doria by Capt. Alvin Golden during a CBS News-televised interview of the divers following their return from a dive expedition to the wreck aboard the R/V Wahoo. The depth, water temperature, and currents combine to put the wreck beyond the scope of recreational diving. The skills and equipment required to successfully execute this dive, such as use of mixed gases and staged decompression, put it in the realm of only the most experienced technical divers. The wreck is located near .
In 1968, film director Bruno Vailati, together with Stefano Carletti, Mimi Dies, Arnaldo Mattei, and Al Giddings (an experienced American diver), organized and directed the first Italian expedition to the wreck, producing the documentary titled Andrea Doria -74. The wreck was marked with a bronze plaque with the inscription: "We came here to work because the impossible becomes possible and Andrea Doria return to the light".
Peter Gimbel later conducted a number of salvage operations on the ship, including salvaging the first-class bank safe in 1981. Despite speculation that passengers had deposited many valuables, the safe, opened on live television in 1984, yielded thousands of American silver certificates, Canadian bank notes, American Express travellers checks, and Italian bank notes, but no other valuables. This outcome apparently confirmed other speculation that most Andrea Doria passengers, in anticipation of the ship's scheduled arrival in New York City the following morning, had already retrieved their valuables prior to the collision.
Evelyn Bartram Dudas (22) was the first woman to successfully dive onto Andrea Doria. Dudas reached the wreck in June 1967; she and her future husband, John Dudas, retrieved the ship's compass. Other well-known divers to explore the Andrea Doria are Steve Belinda, John Chatterton, Gary Gentile, Gary Gilligan, Richie Kohler and John Mattera.
As of 2010, years of ocean submersion have taken their toll. The wreck has aged and deteriorated extensively, with the hull now fractured and collapsed. The upper decks have slowly slid off the wreck to the seabed below. As a result of this transformation, a large debris field flows out from the hull of the liner. Once-popular access points frequented by divers, such as Gimbel's hole, no longer exist. Divers call Andrea Doria a "noisy" wreck, as it emits various noises due to continual deterioration and the currents' moving broken metal around inside the hull. However, due to this decay, new access areas are constantly opening up for future divers on the ever-changing wreck.
A 2016 expedition to the wreck by OceanGate revealed that Andrea Doria was decaying rapidly. "When you look at the shape of the hull, it appears a lot has come off," Stockon Rush, OceanGate's CEO, said. One of the pieces now broken off the wreck is the ship's bow.
After years of removal of artifacts by divers, little of value was thought to remain. Significant artifacts recovered include the statue of Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria, for whom the ship was named. It was removed from the first-class lounge, having been cut off at the ankles to accomplish this. Examples of the ship's china have long been considered valuable mementos of diving the wreck. The ship's bell is normally considered to be the prize of a wreck. This ship carried three bells: one bell located on the bridge, and two much larger ceremonial bells located on the fore and aft decks. The ship's stern bell was retrieved in the late 1980s by a team of divers led by Bill Nagle. On 26 June 2010, a diver from New Jersey, Carl Bayer, diving from the Narragansett RI based dive boat EXPLORER, owned by Capt Dave Sutton, discovered the bridge bell lying on the bottom at 73 m (241 ft). He recovered it with assistance from Ernie Rookey, also from New Jersey. The bell, 410 mm (16 in) tall and weighing 33.3 kg (73.5 lb), was possibly used to signal fog on the night of the collision. The forward bell remains undiscovered. It has for years been thought to be in the ship's paint locker where it was stored during ocean crossings, but recent reports indicate that this part of the ship has collapsed in on itself and the forward bell may never be found.
Artifact recovery on Andrea Doria has resulted in additional loss of life. At least 22 scuba divers have lost their lives diving on the wreck, and diving conditions at the wreck site are considered very treacherous. Strong currents and heavy sediment that can reduce visibility to zero pose serious hazards to diving this site. Dr. Robert Ballard (the man who found the wrecks of the ocean liner RMS Titanic, the German battleship Bismarck, and the American aircraft carrier Yorktown and torpedo boat PT-109) who visited the site in a US Navy submersible in 1995, reported that thick fishing nets draped the hull. An invisible web of thin fishing lines, which can easily snag scuba gear, provides more danger. Furthermore, the wreck is slowly collapsing; the top of the wreck is now at 58 metres (190 ft), and many of the passageways have begun to collapse.
The wreck site is nicknamed "The Everest of Wreck Diving" because of the number of deaths exploring the site.
Survivors went on with their lives with a wide range of experiences. Captain Calamai never accepted another command, and lived the rest of his life in sadness "as a man who has lost a son", according to his daughter. Most of the other officers returned to the sea. Some survivors had mental problems for years after the incident, while others felt their experience had helped them value their lives more preciously. A group of survivors remains in contact with each other through a web site run by the family of Anthony Grillo, an Andrea Doria survivor. Some stay in touch through a newsletter, and reunions and memorial services have been held.
In 1973, German singer Udo Lindenberg published an album titled Alles klar auf der Andrea Doria (All's Well on the Andrea Doria), containing a song of the same name.
The liner is also referenced in the Steely Dan song "Things I Miss The Most" from their 2003 album Everything Must Go.
The liner is mentioned in more than 500 of the many written biographies of Elvis Presley, because one of the survivors was Mike Stoller of the songwriting team Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller. As Stoller reached the port of New York, Leiber informed him at the main dock that their 1952 composition "Hound Dog", a number one R&B record for Big Mama Thornton, was once more and right there and then, the number one record in the nation in all three charts: R&B, Pop and C&W, albeit this time "by a young Mississippian by the name of Elvis Presley". Stoller, who had been in Europe for over 10 months, did not know who Presley was, so he asked Leiber the now famous "Elvis who?". They would go on to write several more number one hits, including two written exclusively for Presley, "Don't", a number one in early 1958, as well as the title song and most of the soundtrack for Presley's third movie, the 1957 MGM production of the mega hit "Jailhouse Rock".
In Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising, a Victor-class submarine stakes out a New York-to-Europe convoy to reinforce NATO against a Soviet attack by sitting next to the wreck of Andrea Doria - hoping to confuse magnetic anomaly detector readings. USS Reuben James and HMS Battleaxe, working in conjunction, use their helicopters to find and destroy the submarine.
In Clive Cussler's Serpent (1999), the Andrea Doria was purposely sunk by the secret organisation called the "Brotherhood" to hide the fact of pre-Columbian contact of Mayans and Europe made by Phoenicians. The liner was carrying a large stone tablet that was essential to find out the long lost Phoenician treasure.
I Was Shipwrecked on the Andrea Doria! The Titanic of the 1950s was written by survivor Pierette Domenica Simpson.
Several books have been written about Andrea Doria. Each presented information not contained in the others, thereby providing varying perspectives.
Photographer Robert F. McCrystal, from the Providence Journal, was the first to photograph the fatally struck Andrea Doria from an airplane. One of his photographs ran on the cover of LIFE Magazine.
Boston newspaper photographer Harry Trask, who arrived at the scene in a small airplane after many media people had left, took a series of photographs of Andrea Dorias final moments above water, which won a Pulitzer Prize.