Diving Safety Officer -
Andrea Doria - Local
Genoa, the home port of the Andrea Doria,
produced two of the world's greatest sea captains: Christopher Columbus and Andrea Doria (1468-1560). While Columbus
famously went off in search of new sea routes, Doria stayed home
and fought the Spanish, French, and Barbary pirates. One of the most cunning fighting men and politicians
of his day, Andrea Doria, who is credited as the first
man to discover how to sail against the wind, became
Admiral of the Genoese Fleet and ultimately the "father of his
country." Like that of the Borghese, the name
of Doria lived on through the centuries as one of
the great family names of Italy and it was to Andrea
Doria that the Italia Line returned when choosing a name fitting for the
great ship it had designed after the second World War
keel of the Andrea Doria (No. 918) was laid down on the Number 1 slipway
at Ansaldo's Sestri Ponente yards on February 9, 1950. Planned for
launching on June 10, 1951, it was six days later when
Italy's first postwar North Atlantic liner slid down the Ansaldo
ways. Prior to the launching, the ship was blessed by His Eminence
Cardinal Siri, Archbishop of Genoa, and
christened by Signora Giuseppina
Saragat, wife of the former Minister of the Italian Merchant Marine. By June 23, she was in the fitting-out basin and expected
to be ready "by next summer." However, decorating the
interior of this ship consumed another eighteen months, and it was
not until November 6, 1952, that the Andrea Doria left
Sestri Ponente for her preliminary engine trials. Nine days
later, amid reports of machinery problems, her maiden voyage was
rescheduled from December 14, 1952, to January 14, 1953.
Reprinted from Newsday
"Radio Days - Andrea Doria"
Into The Deep 1
Into The Deep 2
Into The Deep 3
Into The Deep 4
Into The Deep 5
Into The Deep 6
Into The Deep 7
Into The Deep 8
Into The Deep 9
Into The Deep 10
Into The Deep 11
At the same time, on July 25, 1956, the
Swedish American Lines Stockholm prepared for her
departure from New York to Göteborg. She was scheduled to depart
at 11:31 a.m., and was under the command of Captain Gunnar
Nordenson. He, just like Captain Piero Calamai of the Andrea Doria, was a very skilled captain
who had entered the
sea-business in 1911 and became a captain in 1918. He had never
been involved in any serious accident on his ships. His present
ship, the Stockholm, was a ship that differed from others
on the North Atlantic. It was about half the size of the Andrea
Doria and five knots slower. She was the smallest ship in the
Swedish American Line. She had entered service in 1948 as a
combined passenger and cargo-ship. She only had two classes in
which passengers traveled, first class and tourist class. On
this voyage she carried 534 passengers (almost full, considering
her 570 passenger capacity), only 18 of them in First Class.
Friday, April 18, 2014
Steve Bielenda Dan Berg & Dick Long NE Lobersting
Wreck Valley Andrea Doria video Billy Deans
Captain John Moyer, Mike decamp, Captain Steve
Gatto & Tom packer
Gary Gentile & Gary Gilligan with recovered ceramic Rui
Reprinted from SISD Gary Gentle
Newsletter 2011 July
Andrea Doria Breakthrough
My subscribers may recall that in my previous newsletter I promised
to provide an update about the ongoing collapse of the Andrea Doria,
after my summer explorations of the wreck. Since then I have made
two trips to the Grand Dame of the Sea.
The first trip was organized by Joel Silverstein aboard the
Explorer, Captains Dave Sutton and Jitka Hamakova. The second trip
was a captain's charter aboard the Garloo, Captains Hank Garvin and
On both trips the boat was anchored at the "break" in the bow. For
those of you who are unfamiliar with this term, let me explain.
Because the forward end of the hull curves inward (toward the
centerline) and comes together at the stem, one hundred fifty feet
of the bow has been unsupported ever since the wreck sank on its
starboard side. The weight of the bow and the lack of support placed
tremendous stress on transverse bulkheads and cross thwart trusses.
In effect the bow was a massive cantilever.
The weakest point of the hull - or the location of greatest
instability - was the trunk of number two hatch. This broad void in
the beam occurred precisely where the curvature began. The port hull
cracked in 2000, then broke completely away between the 2003 and
2004 diving seasons. This "break" permitted access to the lower
decks, both forward and aft. C Deck (the bottommost deck) was not
accessible at first because the opening to it was too small to
Over the succeeding years, the bow continued to roll slowly onto its
keel. This process widened the crack and opened the way to C Deck.
The crack in the port hull above the break is shaped like a V. The
open end of the V measures some twenty feet across. The closed end
of the V touches the bottom of the hull. Because the wreck lies on
its side, the bottom of the hull is vertical; a six-inch crack runs
down about fifteen feet from the high side. This crack was not in
evidence in 2010.
Nowadays the so-called break makes it easy to enter areas that were
never accessible before. These decks were crammed with small cabins
whose partitions have long since disintegrated, leaving bunk beds
and bathroom fixtures exposed. These decks have also yielded a trove
In previous years I recovered brass reading lights complete with
bulbs, black glass shelves, various brass accoutrements, and an
assortment of bottles.
This year, Jitka and I recovered drinking glasses, a brass holder,
and a silver spoon; the handle of the spoon was adorned with the
crown logo and the word "ITALIA." Joel Silverstein broke three sinks
free from their plumbing. Ernie Rookie recovered one of these sinks.
Henry "Red" Godin recovered a pair of ornate china plates with
Grecian designs, and a porcelain wall hanging that measures about a
I discovered one of the vessel's wine cellars, or storage
compartments. The external pressure had forced most of the corks
into the bottles. I retrieved three of these bottles. One of the
bottles still had the cork in place; the contents were
uncontaminated by seawater. I don't know what kind of wine the
bottles contained because the paper labels were gone. But the bottom
of each bottle is embossed, "THIS BOTTLE IS MADE IN ITALY."
Michael Dudas is the one who really hit the jackpot. He ventured
under a hull plate into a corridor whose nomenclature we were not
able to determine, despite an intense study of the deck plans. The
twisted state of collapse makes location difficult to ascertain. In
any case, he recovered a stack of dinner plates of assorted sizes,
and three oddly shaped bottles, two of which were still corked.
These newly accessible passageways will continue to yield artifacts
for many years to come.
The milestone for me was my last dive on the second trip. Marcie
Bilinski accompanied me on what was my 200th dive on the Andrea
Doria. I should have celebrated afterward - especially as I brought
back a full bottle of wine from the wreck. Instead, I groaned in
For the past several months I have been suffering from sciatica: a
medical condition in which a pinched nerve causes excruciating pain.
I had a couple of bad bouts on the boat that only strong pain
killers ameliorated. While climbing up the ladder after my 200th
dive, my sciatica kicked in and sent stabbing twinges of pain down
my left leg. I was barely able to climb onto the swim platform.
Dave Console dragged me onto the deck and pulled off my tanks and
other gear. Then I stretched out flat on my back, groaning in
misery: a discomfiting rather than a triumphant return from a
momentous dive. I could not bend at the waist or move in any way
that did not cause agonizing pain. I had to have my drysuit stripped
off me. Then I crawled into the cabin like a wounded cripple. I
celebrated the event by swallowing a pain pill.
I pray that my 201st Doria dive is more fun and less ignominious.
John & Evelyn Dudas Andrea Doria compass binnacle
2010 Andrea Doria bridge bell recovery
Joel Silverstein expedition leader aboard Captain Dave Sutton boat