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The Andrea Doria Shipwreck  New York and New Jersey's Wreck Valley

 Historical and current New York and New Jersey Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers and fisherman.
 


 Andrea Doria Shipwreck Diving Video

The Andrea Doria was built at the Ansaldo shipyards in Sestri, Genoa, and was launched in 1951. She had accommodations for 1,241 passengers, and 575 crew. She was luxurious to the last detail of her structure and was considered the flagship of the Italian Line. The Andrea Doria was named after a sixteenth century prince and admiral, who defended Genoa against her many enemies. The Italian luxury liner was 700 feet long by 90 feet wide. She displaced 29,083 tons, had ten decks, and eleven watertight compartments which extended the entire length of the ship. She was powered by two groups of turbines capable of generating 50,000 hp needed to turn its 16 ton three blade propellers, each weighing sixteen tons. Besides carrying lifeboats capable of holding 2,000 persons, the Doria was completely fire proof and equipped with radar.

At 11:22 PM, July 25, 1956, while navigating through a dense fog, under the command of Captain Piero Calamai, the Andrea Doria and the Swedish freighter, Stockholm, collided. This disaster has no logical explanation. It could have and should have been avoided, but radar readings aboard both vessels were misinterpreted. The Stockholm, although badly damaged with a smashed bow, remained afloat. The Doria suffered a mortal blow; she started to list immediately as water gushed through a huge hole in her starboard side. The following are radio messages that were transmitted after the collision. At 11:22 (Stockholm)  Andrea doria china recovered by Steve BielendaWe have collided with another ship,"  11:35 (Doria) ; We are bending impossible to put lifeboats at sea send immediate assistance,"12:09 (Stockholm); badly damaged. Full bow crushed. Our No. 1 hold filled with water. We have to stay in our position."; Messages continued all night telling minute by minute accounts of this tragedy at sea. Eleven hours after the collision, the Andrea Doria was gone. Out of the 1,706 passengers on board,46 were killed, mostly due to the initial impact of the collision.

 

One day after the Doria's sinking, Peter Gimbel and Joseph Fox, became the first two divers to visit her. Gimbel located the wreck by finding the yellow buoy left by the coast guard. The two reached her port side in 160 feet of water and began taking pictures. Gimbels black and white photographs were sold to LIFE magazine and appeared in the August 6, and August 13, issues. LIFE immediately hired Gimbel to take additional photographs, this time in color.

In 1973, Peter Gimbel began his work to salvage one of the Doria's bank safes. In 1981, not only did he raise a safe, but he solved the mystery of how an unsinkable ship with watertight compartments went to her watery grave. The Doria had suffered an 80 foot gash that ripped through her watertight chambers. This gash allowed so much water to enter her hull that the Doria listed more than the 20 degrees that this fine ship was designed to handle, so as more water entered, it flowed over the tops of her watertight chambers, thus causing her doom. Gimbel's safe was stored at the New York Aquarium's shark tank, while arrangements were made for it to be opened on national TV. On August 16, 1984, the safe Gimbel raised was opened. The safe contained U.S silver certificates and Italian notes.

 

 


Today, the Andrea Doria lies on her starboard side in 240 feet of water. Her hull is now known to a small group of professional divers as the  Mt. Everest of diving. Those who dare to explore this wreck must endure nitrogen narcosis, staged decompression hangs, strong currents, sharks, and long surface intervals. Gary Gentile, author of the book ANDREA DORIA, DIVE TO AN ERA,  has made many such expeditions. On one of his ventures, he and his companions recovered the Doria's stern bell. Most divers who visit this wreck are more than happy to recover some of the fine china she once carried.

The Custom Pen (image left) was made from preserved Teak hand railing recovered from the Andrea Doria Wreck. These limited Edition pens are available from Ron at the Wood Write Shop. Each pen is detailed with 24 K gold  and comes with a certificate of authenticity. For availability Contact Ron direct. Please note that these custom Doria pens are only available while supplies last.

 

 

Above: One of four Andrea Doria ship in bottle replicas that Capt. Dan Berg carved from a piece of teak hand railing recovered from the shipwreck. Each depicts the Doria at a different moment in time from prior to the collision to half sunk.

 

Capt. Dave Sutton, EXPLORER, with diver Andre Fortin, holding a dinner
plate recovered from the wreck of the Andrea Doria. Andre recovered

this plate on his third dive to the wreck. Photo courtesy Capt. Dave Sutton,

Mike Boring with Andrea Doria Promenade Deck Window. Courtesy Mike Boring.

 

 

This replica Ship in a Bottle model of the Andrea Doria was carved from a piece of teak hand railing recovered from the shipwreck. Built in 2012 by Capt. Dan Berg as a gift for Capt. Steve Bielenda.

 

 

 

John Moyer's Andrea Doria Virtual Museum

 

 
 
 
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