SS Andrea Doria

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Andrea Doria USCG 1.jpg
The SS Andrea Doria, hours before she sank on July 26, 1956
Career
Name: Andrea Doria
Owner: Italian Line
Builder: Ansaldo Shipyards of Genoa, Italy
Launched: 16 June 1951
Maiden voyage: 14 January 1953
Fate: Hit another ship (MS Stockholm) on 25 July 1956 in the Atlantic Ocean and sank.
Status: Wrecked, lying on starboard side on the bottom at 40°29′30″N 69°51′00″W / 40.49167°N 69.85000°W / 40.49167; -69.85000
General characteristics
Tonnage: 29,083
Length: 701 feet (214 m)
Beam: 90 feet (27 m)
Installed power: Steam turbines
Propulsion: Two propellers
Speed: 23 knots (42.6 km/h) (26.5 mph)
Capacity: 1,221 passengers

SS Andrea Doria was an Italian ocean liner, or passenger ship. It was owned by a ship line called the Italian Line. It was said to be the biggest, fastest, safest, and most beautiful[1] ship in Italy after World War II.[source?] It could carry 1,221 passengers and 563 crew.[2]

The ship was built by the Ansaldo Shipyards in Genoa, Italy. It was launched on June 16, 1951. Its maiden voyage, or first voyage, was on January 14, 1953.[source?] Three years later in 1956, it crashed with another ship, MS Stockholm, in the Atlantic Ocean. At that time, 1,134 passengers and 572 crew were on board.[source?] Andrea Doria sank in 11 hours, but Stockholm survived.[2]

The Andrea Doria was the last large ocean liner to sink before airplane travel became popular.

Early history[change | edit source]

Andrea Doria was built at the Ansaldo Shipyards, which was a shipbuilding company in Genoa, Italy. At the time of building, she was:

It was designed for comfort. Its designer was an Italian architect called Minoletti. There was also another ship, Cristoforo Colombo, that looked exactly like Andrea Doria.

Andrea Doria was a transatlantic ocean liner, which is a ship that crosses the Atlantic Ocean. The ship had three swimming pools, and was the first ship to have that many. Over 1 million dollars were spent on art to decorate the ship.[2]

The ship was also built for safety. It had 11 watertight compartments. These are special dividers in a ship to keep water in one place. If two of them were filled, the ship would not sink. Andrea Doria also had very advanced radar. Radar could warn the captain of the Andrea Doria if there was something in the path of the ship. However one big problem was that the ship often tilted too much to one side.

Andrea Doria had two rows of lifeboats, which are small boats that can evacuate passengers if the ship sinks. However, if the ship tilted too much, half of the lifeboats could not be used. Andrea Doria's maiden voyage (first voyage) was on January 14, 1953.[3]

Before the collision[change | edit source]

Andrea Doria sank in the night between July 25, 1956, and July 26, 1956. When she sank, she had 1,134 passengers and 572 crew members, and her captain was Piero Calamai. She was sailing in the Atlantic Ocean. Her path was from Genoa, Italy, to New York, in the United States. Andrea Doria entered very thick fog when it passed by Nantucket, which is a small island near Massachusetts. Soon, another ship entered the fog. This was SS Stockholm. SS Stockholm was another passenger ship. Because of the fog, the two ships could not see each other. When they finally noticed each other, they tried to turn away. Andrea Doria turned left to pass Stockholm. But Stockholm turned right to try to pass Andrea Doria. Because of the fog, they could not see what each other was trying to do. At 11:10 PM of July 15, 1956, Andrea Doria and Stockholm crashed together.

Sinking[change | edit source]

Stockholm crashed into the right side of Andrea Doria near the middle. It made a large hole that was almost 40 feet (12 m) deep. It broke open several of the watertight compartments on Andrea Doria. It also broke five fuel tanks. The fuel tanks were filled by 500 tons of water. Stockholm and Andrea Doria separated in 30 seconds. Andrea Doria began to tilt to its right side. Soon, half of the lifeboats could not be used, because it was tilting too much. The weight of the fuel tanks that were filled by water also pulled it down. Stockholm's whole front end was destroyed, but it did not sink. 46 passengers on the Andrea Doria were killed by the crash. Five crew members of the Stockholm were also killed. However, one incredible survivor was Linda Morgan, an Andrea Doria passenger who landed on the Stockholm when they crashed.

Thirty minutes after the crash, the people on Andrea Doria decided to abandon the ship. However, some crew had already left. This made it harder because no crew was there to help. However, there were still enough lifeboats to get everyone out safely. The SS Ile de France, a French ship, arrived at the Andrea Doria to help rescue passengers. It launched lifeboats to rescue passengers of the Andrea Doria. The Ile de France had sailed only one day, so it had lots of supplies left to help the passengers of Andrea Doria. Andrea Doria continued to tilt right, and eventually began to sink on 9:45 AM of July 16, 1956. Before that, at 9:00 AM, all the survivors were off the ship. At 10:00 AM, Andrea Doria was tilted so far to the right that its windows touched the ocean. At 10:09 AM, the ship sank. This was 10 hours and 59 minutes after it had crashed with the Stockholm. The back of Andrea Doria rose, and its left propeller lifted out of the water. Some lifeboats that were still on the ship broke off and floated away upside down. The ship had drifted 1.6 nautical miles (a measuring distance used at sea) from where it had crashed with the Stockholm.

A total of six different ships rescued passengers of the Andrea Doria, including the Stockholm and Ile de France. Stockholm was the last to arrive, because it was damaged. Many families had their hopes of seeing loved ones again destroyed. The most affected were those who were meeting members of several families immigrating to the United States in hope of new lives. The Chrysler Norseman, a prototype car headed to New York, was also lost with the other cars aboard Andrea Doria. A Rolls-Royce luxury car was also on Andrea Doria.[4]

Causes of the sinking[change | edit source]

A series of lawsuits were filed by both ship lines in response to the disaster. The reasons argued included:

  • Heavy fog was the main reason for the collision and sinking. However, there were also some other causes.
    • The crew of Andrea Doria did not use radar properly. They did not find out the place and speed of Stockholm until the crash.
    • According to the International Regulations for Preventing Collisions At Sea, Andrea Doria was supposed to turn right, not left. When Andrea Doria turned left, it was actually heading towards the Stockholm.
    • The Andrea Doria was moving too fast in foggy conditions.
    • Both ships were actually in different weather, until the crash. Stockholm had only just entered the fog before the crash.
    • Andrea Doria's empty fuel tanks were not filled with water to make the ship stable.
    • A missing watertight door, which blocks water from going into another watertight compartment, was maybe a problem on the Andrea Doria.
    • The first mate on the Stockholm made a mistake in reading the radar.

Diving[change | edit source]

Andrea Doria landed on the ocean bottom sideways, with her left side facing up, in good condition. At first, the top of the shipwreck was in water about 160 feet (49 m) deep. It was a popular destination for divers. However, the Andrea Doria has become a difficult ship to explore.[1] The wreck is at 40°29′30″N 69°51′00″W / 40.49167°N 69.85000°W / 40.49167; -69.85000 (Wreck of SS Andrea Doria).[5]

More recently, the top part of the ship has collapsed. Inside the ship, many supports have broken. The ship is slowly getting shorter as its weight presses downwards. The top of the wreck is now 190 feet (58 m) below the water. Fifteen people have died exploring the Andrea Doria.[6]

Result[change | edit source]

The front of Stockholm was eventually fixed. About $1 million was spent. Now, Stockholm is named Athena, and still sails.

Several books have been published about Andrea Doria. This is a list of some of them:

  • Alive on the Andrea Doria: The Greatest Sea Rescue in History, by survivor Pierette Domencia, 2006
  • Collision Course: The Story of the Collision Between the 'Andrea Doria' and the 'Stockholm' , by Alvin Moscow, 1959
  • Saved!: The Story of the Andrea Doria- The Greatest Sea Rescue in History, by William Hoffer, 1979
  • Desperate Hours: The Epic Rescue of the Andrea Doria, by Richard Goldstein, 2003

A memorial wreath was put at the place where Andrea Doria sank in July 2002.

References[change | edit source]