Shipwrecks Captain Steve Bielenda 631-946-3699


 Andrea Doria




 Hardhat History of Diving



Setting The Hook
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Book Intro

Mike deCamp  

Diving Safety Officer  -  Andrea Doria  -  Local Diving  -  Ship Wrecks

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

The 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 Line’s 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
Video Steve Bielenda Dan Berg & Dick Long NE Lobersting

Video  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 Dave Console.

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 squeeze through.

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 of artifacts.

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 foot across.

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 agony.

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 below;

Joel Silverstein expedition leader aboard Captain Dave Sutton boat Explorer



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