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May 20, 2024 38 mins

The SS Andrea Doria was a luxury cruise liner that sank after colliding with another ship in 1956. Most of the people who were on the Andrea Doria lived thanks to one of the biggest civilian maritime rescues in history. 


  • Cooke, Anthony, editor. “Andrea Doria.” Italian Liners.
  • Carrothers, John Carroll. “There Must Have Been a Third Ship! (An Analysis of the Andrea Doria-Stockholm Disaster).” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. 7/1958. ‘
  • “Stefano Carletti: The Man Who Immortalized The Wreck of the Andrea Doria.” 4/1/2021.
  • Moyer, John. “A Conservator’s Reflections on the Andrea Doria.” InDepth. 6/26/2021.
  • Simpson, Pierette Domenica. “The Night I Survived the Andrea Doria Shipwreck.” Italian Sons and Daughters of America. 8/9/2022.
  • Carrothers, John C. “The Andrea Doria-Stockholm Disaster: Accidents Don’t Happen.” U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings. August 1971.
  • Ballard, Robert D. and Rich Archbold. “Lost Liners.” Via PBS.
  • King, Greg and Penny Wilson. “The Last Voyage of the Andrea Doria.” St. Martin’s Press. 2020.
  • Andrews, Evan. “The Sinking of Andrea Doria.” 9/21/2023.
  • Tikkanen, Amy. “Andrea Doria.” Britannica. 4/12/2024.
  • NBC News. “50 years later, sunken ship still claiming lives.” 7/24/2006.
  • “The Andrea Doria Settlement.” TIME Magazine. 2/4/1957, Vol. 69 Issue 5, p86-86. 1/3p.
  • Garzke, William H. and Pierette Domenica Simpson. “The Loss of Andrea Doria: A Marine Forensic Analysis.” Marine Technology Society Journal. November/December 2012 Volume 46 Number 6.

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Episode Transcript

Available transcripts are automatically generated. Complete accuracy is not guaranteed.
Speaker 1 (00:01):
Welcome to Stuff You Missed in History Class, a production
of iHeartRadio.

Speaker 2 (00:12):
Hello, and welcome to the podcast. I'm Tracy B. Wilson
and I'm Holly Frye. I was going through my shortlist
deciding what I was going to do next, and I
realized that the SS Andrea Doria was on there twice,
and I'll just go ahead and say it's an Italian ship.

The Italian pronunciation of it would be closer to Andrea Doria.

Speaker 1 (00:38):
I would say.

Speaker 2 (00:39):
I'd heard most English speakers say Andrea Doria. I'm not
super worried about being fiddly with it in this episode,
but I did figure it's there two different times on
my shortlist, so why not go ahead and do that.
And it's also possible that there will be another twice
on the shortlist episode soon because this was not the

only topic I discovered. I had written on there twice
at some point, so my short list it's long enough
to have duplicates on it.

Speaker 1 (01:08):
And me not realize same. Uh So.

Speaker 2 (01:12):
The SS Andrea Doria was a luxury cruise liner that
sank after colliding with another ship called the Stockholm in
nineteen fifty six. This came up in our episode on
the Empress of Ireland disaster. That episode came out in
November of twenty twenty three. Because these two collisions had
several similarities, there was one particular moment in the research

and writing process where I was, like, I've described this
exact collision previously. The Empress of Ireland disaster was the
worst maritime disaster to happen in Canadian history, you know,
during a civilian peacetime situation. This collision was also tragic,

but most of the people who were on the Andrea
Doria were rescued before the ship sank, thanks to one
of the biggest civilian maritime rescues in history.

Speaker 1 (02:12):
This disaster took place as Transatlantic travel was shifting from
happening by sea to by air. The first flights across
the Atlantic Ocean had taken place back in the nineteen teens,
but it wasn't until after World War II that airlines
really started working on commercial passenger service, thanks in part
to the aircraft and runways that now existed because of

the war. By the early nineteen fifties, multiple carriers were
making commercial flights across the Atlantic, but these flights were
expensive and long. These were propeller driven airplanes, and they
typically had to make at least one refueling stop somewhere
like Gander on the northwest coast of the island of

Newfoundland or Shannon in western Ireland, or they might need
to stop both of those places. Their first transatlantic jet
flight didn't take place until nineteen fifty eight, two years
after this disaster. Even though most passengers were still crossing
the Atlantic on ships, shipping lines recognized the air travel

industry as a threat. Obviously, the idea of luxury ocean
liners was not at all new, but there was an
increasing focus on the idea that a trip across the
ocean might be part of a vacation and not just
a way of getting from one place to another. This
brings us to the SS Andrea Doria, flagship of the

Italian Line. This ship was part of the post World
War II efforts to rebuild Italy's naval fleet, and it
was meant to provide a beautiful, comfortable, luxurious crossing of
the Atlantic Ocean for celebrities, vacationers, business travelers, and immigrants alike.
That could carry more than twelve hundred passengers and five

hundred and sixty crew with the passenger accommodations divided among first,
cabin and tourist class, with cabin and tourists essentially being
second and third class respectively. Each class had its own
outdoor swimming pool, which each of these pools on a
separate level of the deck at the stern of the ship,

making kind of a little three terraces of swimming pools.
The Andrea Doria was described as a floating art gallery
full of original works of art and copies of works
by Italian Renaissance artists like Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Raphael
and Titian. In the first class lounge, there was also
a life sized bronze statue of the ship's namesake, sixteenth

century Admiral Andrea Doria, ruler of the Genoese Republic. The
mid century modern decor was meant to be attractive and inviting,
and of course the ship was full of dining rooms, lounges,
reading rooms, card rooms and the like. In terms of safety,
the Andrea Doria had eleven watertight compartments, and it could

stay afloat if two of those compartments were breached. There
were enough lifeboat spaces for everyone on board the ship
was also equipped with radar, which at this point was
still a fairly new innovation in civilian travel. As was
the case with the commercial air travel industry, radar was

something that had older roots but went through some major
developments during World War Two. To the nation of Italy,
the Andrea Doria was also not just an ocean liner.
It was meant to show the world how Italy was
rebuilding itself as a nation after World War II. It
was part pr part aspiration, showing Italy as a place

of refinement and elegance, and of course beautiful and historically
important artwork, an example of Italy's place in world culture.
During the ship's first test voyages, there was enormous fanfare
at its departure and every port it visited, all of
it documented da newsreels that then went out around the world.

After various trial runs and a cruise around the Mediterranean,
the Andrea Doria departed on its first transatlantic voyage from
Genoa to New York on January fourteenth, nineteen fifty three.
From there, it took passengers on its one and only
Caribbean cruise, which lasted for two weeks. After that, it

returned to the North Atlantic and all in all, this
ship safely crossed the Atlantic Ocean one hundred times before
its final voyage. The other ship in this collision, the Stockholm,
was part of the Swedish American Line, and its description
is not quite as dramatic. The Stockholm was built in
nineteen forty eight, and at the time it was the

largest passenger ship ever built in Sweden, but by nineteen
fifty six, the Stockholm was the smallest passenger liner providing
service across the North Atlantic, with a capacity of five
hundred four forty eight passengers. While the Andrea Doria's exterior
appearance had similarities to today's ocean cruise ships, the Stockholm's
design looked more like a yacht. It was built for

comfort more than luxury, and like the Andrea Doria, was
outfitted with a radar system because its home ports were
in Sweden. It also had a reinforced bow to allow
it to break through icy water.

Speaker 2 (07:23):
On July seventeenth, nineteen fifty six, the Andrea Doria departed
from Genoa, stopping at cann Naples and Gibraltar before entering
the open ocean for a nine day crossing. It was
under the command of Captain Piero Kalamai, who was an
experienced nautical officer who had served with the Italian Navy
during World War One and World War Two. He had

been with the Andrea Doria since its very first trial runs.
During this voyage, there were one thousand, seven hundred six
people aboard the Andrea Doria, including five hundred sixty three crew.
Although a number of celebrities had sailed on the Andrea
Doria before, the most well known people aboard on this
final voyage were Ruth Roman, star of various movies including

Alfred Hitchcock's Strangers on a Train, and songwriter Mike Stoller,
who collaborated with Jerry Lieber on songs like hound Dog,
which was first recorded by Big Mama Thornton in nineteen
fifty two. The best known version of this song was
of course, recorded by Elvis Presley, and that was in
nineteen fifty six. Yeah, apparently this Elvis recording happened like

shortly before they departed on the voyage, and they like
nobody really knew who Elvis was yet. On the morning
of July twenty fifth, nineteen fifty six, the Stockholm left
New York bound for Guttenberg, Sweden and from there to Copenhagen,
making its one hundred and third Atlantic crossing. It was
carrying five hundred thirty four passengers and two hundred eight crew.

This was under the command of Captain Henry Gunner Nortensen,
who had been born in Massachusetts to Sweden parents who
returned to Sweden while he was still a child. Like Calami,
he was an experienced captain. He had more than forty
five years of experience, including three years under charter to
the US government during World War Two. Although Nordensen was

highly experienced and had a reputation for being very strict
when the collision took place, third mate Johann Ernst Carston's Johansson,
known just as Carston's, was the one in command. Carston's
was twenty six, and the night of the collision was
his first time alone on the bridge. A pilot ship
had guided the Stockholm out of the harbor in New

York until they reached Staten Island, and then the Stockholm
headed due east from there. The Stockholm in the Andrea
Doria collided just about twelve hours into the Stockholm's voyage,
and we'll get into the details after we pause for
a sponsor break. At the top of the show, I

mentioned our previous episode on the Empress of Ireland disaster,
which came out in November of twenty twenty three. This
disaster happened in nineteen fourteen after the Empress of Ireland
collided with another ship called the Storstad. In that earlier episode,
we talked about how the accounts that were given by
the captain of the Empress of Ireland and the first

mate of the Storstad did not agree with each other.
It was just impossible for both their statements to simultaneously
be true. A commission of inquiry ultimately found that both
officers had made errors and that the Storstad's first mate
was negligent because he had not summoned the captain once

the ship had entered the fog. Although the loss of
life was far greater in the Empress of Ireland disaster,
the collision itself had a lot in common with the
collision of the Andrea Doria with the Stockholm. Both collisions
happened in the fog, with a more junior officer failing
to alert the captain about it. In both cases, one

ship sank while the other remained seaworthy. And assisted with
the rescue effort, and in both collisions, the testimonies of
the officers and crews of each of the ships do
not agree with each other. But from there there's a
key difference. After the Empress of Ireland disaster, a Commission
of Inquiry investigated the disaster. It drew conclusions about what

had happened. We mentioned those conclusions earlier. Presiding over this
inquiry was John Charles Bigham, Lord Mercy, who also presided
over inquiries into the sinkings of the Titanic and the Lusitania.
It is definitely possible to question the findings of these inquiries,
to criticize things about the inquiries themselves.

Speaker 1 (11:50):
Over the years, people have, but there were investigations into
all of these disasters and formal attempts to determine exactly
what happened. In the case of the sinking of the
Andrea Doria, though those attempts were cut short. We're going
to get to why. But that means that what we
know about the collision comes from accounts that are not

only contradictory but were also never fully investigated, and there
was no official conclusion about what happened. Instead, there are
so many papers full of witness statements and data from
the ship's course recorders and radar plots and times and headings.
Some of these papers come to different conclusions because they
were written before all the data was available, but in

other cases people have drawn very different conclusions about the
same basic facts. We are not going to get into
the minutia of every single thing that happened on each
of these ships before they collided, because that would be
incredibly tedious to listen to. I found some of it
very tedious to read, and it also would not actually

make anything clearer. So these are just the key elements
of what went wrong. At ten thirty five pm on
July twenty fifth, nineteen fifty six, the Andrea Doria and
the Stockholm were both in the North Atlantic near the
Nantucket Lightship, headed in opposite directions. Lightships have the same
purpose as lighthouses, but are typically placed in areas that

are too deep for a lighthouse to be built there,
or for some other reason, are just not suitable for
a lighthouse. The US doesn't officially use lightships anymore, and
the Nantucket Lightship was the last one in use before
being decommissioned in nineteen eighty five. The Nantucket Lightship was
stationed on the edge of Nantucket Shoals off the coast
of Massachusetts, in an area that was so busy with

shipping traffic that it had the nickname Times Square.

Speaker 2 (13:43):
The Stockholm was headed almost directly toward the Nantucket Lightship. Typically,
though eastbound ships passed about twenty miles south of the lightship,
this route put the Stockholm in a travel lane that
was designated for westbound ships. Most sources attribute this to
the fact that this was faster and more direct than

going farther south, but Captain Henry Gunner Nordensen also gave
a statement saying that he thought that heading into this
oncoming traffic was safer than having to cross over all
of it. When the Stockholm turned north towards Sweden, the
Andrea Doria was running about an hour behind schedule, which

might be why when it entered a fog bank, it
didn't reduce its speed very much, dropping from twenty three
knots or roughly twenty six point five miles per hour
to twenty one point eight knots or about twenty five
miles per hour. Other precautions were being taken, though the
ship was sounding its fog whistle every one hundred seconds,

and there was a lookout posted on the bow of
the ship, who was connected to the bridge by phone.
The Andrea Doria had also closed its watertight doors and
placed extra crew in the engine rooms as a precaution.
This collision took place in a part of the ocean
where warm water from the Gulf Stream meets cold water
from the North Atlantic, so fog is really common. The

fog can also form suddenly, and sometimes it's pretty patchy.
While the Andrea Doria had been traveling through fog for
several hours, the seas around the Stockholm had been clear
at first. When he left. Third Officer Johann Ernst Carston's
Johanssen Captain Nortonsen, had given orders that he be summoned

if a fog developed.

Speaker 1 (15:33):
At about ten forty five pm, Captain Piero Kalamai of
the Andrea Doria saw another ship on the radar that
was the Stockholm, although neither ship knew the identity of
the other until after they had collided and heard one
another's distress calls. The Stockholm was about seventeen nautical miles away.
Aboard the Stockholm, Carston spotted the Andrea Doria on the

radar about eight minutes later. At that point, the ships
were about twelve nautical miles apart. Carstons used the radar
readings to plot out the course of the other ship
on the plotting board and was confused by the fact
that he couldn't see the Andrea Doria's lights, even though
they were in an area known for sudden, sometimes patchy fog.
It apparently did not occur to him that the Andrea

Doria might have been in a fog bank that Carstons
couldn't see in the dark, but was obscuring the other
ship's navigational lights. According to Carston's account, at eleven oh
five pm, he did cite the Andrea Doria's red navigation
light over the Stockholm's port bow. The red side light

signifies the port side of the ship, so Carstons concluded
that these two ships were going to pass each other
port to port, about a mile apart. He ordered a
twenty two and a half degree turned to the starboard,
which he thought would then take the Stockholm farther away
from the Andrea Doria and give the other ship more.

Speaker 2 (16:58):
Room to pass. As this was happening, the Andrea Doria's
lights were once again obscured by the fog. Meanwhile, aboard
the Andrea Doria, Klamai briefly sighted the Stockholm's lights over
the Andrea Doria's starboard bow. Based on what he observed,
he believed that the two ships were passing starboard to
starboard and ordered a slight shift toward port to accommodate.

Ships typically passed one another port to port, though and
Kalamai didn't try to confirm this deviation with the other
ship or plot its course on the radar. Soon after,
both of the ships were enveloped by the fog, and
once they were visible to each other again, Carston realized
he was seeing a green light from the Andrea Doria's

starboard side, not a red light from its port side.
He and Kalamai, at about the same time, realized they
were on a collision course. Kalamai ordered the Andrea Doria
to make a hard turn to try to get out
of the way, while Carston's ordered the Stockholm's engines into
a full reverse to try to slow down. At this point,

though a crash was inevitable, there's nothing either of them
could have done to recover, and at eleven eleven PM,
the Stockholm's reinforced bow, the one that had been made
to break through icy water, crashed into the starboard side
of the Andrea Doria, almost at a right angle. When
the two ships collided, they had a combined speed of

almost forty knots or forty six miles an hour. Both
of them were traveling really faster than was normally advised
for foggy conditions.

Speaker 1 (18:40):
The bow of the Stockholm was completely crushed, but in
spite of that the ship was still seaworthy. But the
Andrea Doria had a huge hole in the starboard side
and it started to lean toward the starboard as it
took on water. After colliding, the ships traveled together for
a little over two and a half nautical miles, and
then the Stockholm pivoted and tore out another portion of

the Andrea Doria's hull. As we said earlier, this is
an overview of what happened. There are moment by moment
accounts of everything on both ships, and they go on
four pages, but Calamaia's and Carston's accounts contradict one another.
According to Carston's for the entire time the two ships

were approaching each other, they were port to port, but
according to Calamai, they were starboard to starboard, as was
the case with the Empress of Ireland disaster. Both of
these things just could not be true at the same time,
and as with the Empress of Ireland disaster, if the
two ships had kept to their initial course, they would

have passed close by one another, but they would not
have collided. We don't have a good explanation for this contradiction.
Obvious possibilities are that one or both of the men
was mistaken, or that one or both of them was
not telling the truth in their statements, but there are
some other possibilities as well. Writing in the US Naval

Institute Proceedings in nineteen fifty eight, John Carrol Carruthers argued
that the only possible explanation was that the navigational lights
spotted from aboard the Stockholm did not belong to the
Andrea Doria, that they belonged to some other ship in
this extremely busy part of the Atlantic. But the crews
of both ships said there was no other ship in

the vicinity, and other researchers have dismissed this argument or
even framed it as just absurd.

Speaker 2 (20:34):
Another hypothesis has been that Carston's had the Stockholm's radar
on the wrong setting, with a range of five miles
rather than fifteen, so that when he saw the Andrea
Doria it was already much closer to the Stockholm than
he thought that it was. Arguments in favor of this
idea include that setting the range on the radar you

just twisted a knob, and it would have been really
easy to move it to the wrong setting on a
darkened bridge, or to change it and then forget to
change it back. There is a point in the proceedings
of what happened where he did change the range and
change it back according to his statements. Others point out

that this incorrect setting would have been obvious to Carston's
within moments of it happening, although that to me it
would have been obvious argument doesn't really seem to take
into account that it also should have been obvious that
the reason he couldn't see the Andrea Doria's lights was fog.

That's like the kind of thing where it's like the
whole thing should have been obvious ideally, but that's not
how things work. Correct that collision caused catastrophic damage to
the Andrea Doria, leading to a massive rescue operation. We're
going to talk about that after a sponsor break. Because

the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm collided a little after
eleven PM, a lot of the passengers aboard were asleep,
especially families with small children aboard the Andrea Doria who
were going to need to get up early the next
day to disembark from the ship. Most of the people
who were killed aboard the Andrea Doria were in their

staterooms and were killed instantly in the collision itself. Five
crew members who were at their stations toward the bow
of the Stockholm were also killed in the actual collision.
When we say that the front of the ship was
smashed in, it's really like a giant just smashed the

front of it with a hammer. It is so dramatic.

Speaker 1 (22:50):
The impact when the two ships collided was so dramatic
that one passenger, Linda Morgan, was thrown from her bed
on the Andrea Doria onto the deck of the stock
She broke her arm in the process. She survived, but
her stepfather and stepsister, who were in the stateroom with
her were both killed. Linda's father, Edward P. Morgan, was

a journalist who covered the collision on the radio, and
during his broadcast he believed that at the time Linda
had been killed.

Speaker 2 (23:18):
Yeah, this is one of the things that people mark
is like one of the memorable points of his career,
because he gave no indication that anything was going on
for him personally. While he was doing this reporting. Throughout
the Andrea Doria, it was obvious that something very serious
had happened. People were thrown off of their feet, thrown
out of their beds. An orchestra playing in one of

the lounges was thrown from the stage, and that orchestra
was perhaps ironically playing the song arrivederchi Roma. Soon after
the collision, the captain of the Andrea Doria issued in
order to abandon ship. As we said, there were enough
lifeboat spaces for everyone on board, but because this ship
was tilted so severely, the ones on the port side

could not be lowered down to the water, and it
was difficult and dangerous to get people into the starboard lifeboats.
The decks were slippery and everything was at an angle,
and the ship was continually moving with the sea. It
also wasn't safe to load the lifeboats and lower them.
The boats had to be lowered first, with passengers being

lowered by ropes or climbing down rope ladders. Getting to
the lifeboats from the interior of the ship was also difficult.
It was dark and parts of the Andrea Doria's interior
were filled with smoke and debris. The Andrea Doria radioed
for help, asking specifically for ships with lifeboats to come

to their aid. Ships immediately started arriving, Some of them
did not have a lot of lifeboats to help. There
was a freighter called the Cape Ann that arrived a
little more than an hour after the collision, followed by
two ships from the US Navy. Then there was an
ocean the Eel de France, which arrived at about two am,
just as the fog cleared, and its lifeboats were a

really critical part of the rescue operation. The US Coast
Guard helped coordinate these rescue efforts, and there were also
eight Coast Guard cutters that were patrolling the area around
the collision and looking for more survivors in the water.
Although the Stockholm took on survivors as well, initially it
could not move its anchors had dropped in the collision

and the equipment used to raise them had been destroyed,
so the ship had to be cut free of the
anchors a little more than six hours after the collision,
seven hundred and fifty three survivors from the Andrea Doria
had been taken aboard the Eel de France, with five
hundred forty five aboard the Stockholm and the rest on
other rescue ships. Captain Piero Calamai believed the Andrea Doria

might be able to stay afloat, and he wanted to
wait for tugs to arrive to show it to shore,
and failing that, he seemed to be ready to go
down with the ship, but the crew refused to leave
without him, and he did leave the ship around five
thirty am. At ten oh nine am, so only about
eleven hours after the collision, as the Stockholm and the

rescue vessels were on their way to New York with
the survivors, the Andrea Doria sank. Photographer Harry A. Trask
took photos of the ship as it was sinking from
an airplane that was flying only about seventy five feet
above the water. He was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for
Photography for these images, especially one that shows the Andrea

Doria like sort of in the process of sinking. In
nineteen fifty seven.

Speaker 1 (26:41):
Fifty one people died during and after the collision, forty
six from the Andrea Doria and five from the Stockholm.
Almost all of those aboard the Andrea Doria who were
killed died as a result of the collision itself. Although
fewer people died in this collision than in many of
the other shipwrecks we've talked about on the show, this
was a course still tragic, and we should also note

that many of the people who were aboard the Andrea
Doria were there because they were immigrating to the US,
and they also lost essentially everything they had. Yeah, some
of them might have been shipping some stuff separately, but
a lot of people, all of their belongings, were on
the ship with them. The aftermath of this collision led
to a series of lawsuits, with the owners of the

Andrea Doria suing the owners of the Stockholm and vice versa,
each of them claiming the other was negligent, and survivors
of the crash also filed their own lawsuits against one
or both of the shipping companies. These other lawsuits totaled
eighty five million dollars in third party claims. This was

admittedly a complicated situation because it involved an Italian ship,
a Swedish ship, and claims that were primarily being filed
through American courts. An official inquiry started on September nineteenth,
nineteen fifty six, with testimonies and deposition happening in three languages.
A trial was scheduled to start on April first, nineteen

fifty seven, to be carried out under US admiralty law.
There was a ton of really contradictory and confusing testimony
in the preliminary hearings and other court proceedings, but the
actual trial never happens because on January twenty second, nineteen
fifty seven, the two steamship companies dropped their lawsuits against

one another, and, with the permission of a federal court,
they instead established a six million dollar fund for the survivors.
This was not even ten percent of the amount of
the third party claims that had been filed, but the
settlement took place under maritime laws that limited each company's
liability to the value of their respective vessels. Post collision,

the Stockholm was valued at four million dollars. The Andrea
Doria was a total loss, so initially its owners were
expected to contribute only four hundred thousand dollars, which was
its revenue from that final voyage. That, of course, was
not nearly enough to cover the existing claims, so the
Italian line ultimately paid one point eight million. Of course,

without any sort of formal ruling on who was to
blame or whether the officers of either ship had been negligent,
people drew their own conclusions. My read is there were
mistakes made on both sides. Calami in particular faced a
lot of criticism and became something of a scapegoat, even though,

as I said, it seems like there were errors across
the board.

Speaker 2 (29:40):
While De Andrea Doria had been built to give the
world a positive representation of Italy, people obviously still remembered
that Italy had been one of the Axis powers during
World War II, and thus the enemy of the United States.
Calamite never commanded another ship, and people described him afterward
as a broken in man. In nineteen fifty six, it

probably seemed unimaginable that two ships could collide in a
way so similar to the way the Empress of Ireland
disaster had played out more than forty years before, but
there have been a number of changes in improvements that
should prevent a similar collision from happening again today. This
includes more defined shipping lanes, improved radar systems and training

on how to use them, and bridge to bridge communication
from one ship to another rather than communication being relayed
through a separate radio room. Eventually, the Stockholm was repaired
and it returned to sea. It went through a series
of name changes and changes in ownership before becoming the
MV Astoria, eventually becoming the oldest cruise ships still in operation.

It stayed in service all the way until twenty twenty,
when the cruise industry shut down due to the COVID
nineteen pandemic. Both its owner and a company that had
been chartering it went bankrupt during the pandemic, and in
the fall of twenty twenty three it was announced that
this ship would be scrapped. I don't know if it
has been yet. As of January though it had not been,

but the wreck of the Andrea Doria is still on
the floor of the sea, although it has deteriorated significantly
from when it first sank. The Italian line made no
efforts to recover or salvage the wreck, although efforts to
dive down to it started the day after it sank.
Photojournalist Peter Gimble took pictures of the wreck that were
published in Life magazine in August of nineteen fifty six.

In nineteen sixty four, divers recovered most of the statue
of Andrea Doria from the ship. They had to saw
it off at the ankle because there was no way
to remove it from its pedestal. In nineteen sixty eight,
the first extensive survey of the wreck was undertaken by
Italian filmmaker and diver Bruno vai Latti. In nineteen eighty four,
after a salvage expedition helmed by Peter Gimble, the Andrea

Doria Safe was opened on a very hyped up live
TV special with author George Plimpton acting as MC. This
turned out to be anti climactic because the safe only
contained some water log us dollars and a few Italian lire.
In nineteen ninety three, a US District court declared to
the Andrea Doria abandoned and named John F. Moyer salverin possession,

and that gave him salvage rights over the ship. Moyer
had already made numerous dives to the site, including to
remove works of art and other objects, some of which
are now in museum collections. In news coverage, Moyer has
been quoted as saying he hopes that there will someday
be a museum dedicated to the Andrea Doria. The wreck

of the Andrea Doria is considered to be a challenging
and dangerous dive. It's nicknamed the Mount Everest of diving,
and more than twenty people are known to have died
trying to dive there. It's about two hundred and fifty
feet or seventy six six meters underwater, which is well
beyond the depth that recreational divers can reach. In addition
to the need for specialized equipment and training just to

reach that depth, the area is also home to very
strong currents, with the current moving in different directions from
one layer of the sea to the next. There are
also a lot of things to get tangled in, like
submerged nets and other fishing gear, and sometimes there are
even sharks. Just getting to the site can be a challenge.
Thanks to the weather and tendency for fog to develop.

It's generally considered possible only during a brief period in
the summer months, and divers can typically only stay at
the wreck site for about twenty minutes before needing to ascend.
It's possible that specialized equipment might expand that time, but
I kept seeing twenty minutes. So it is, of course
also possible to reach the wreck via a submersible vehicle,

and one of the companies to do this was ocean Gate.
In twenty sixteen, Argus Expeditions had contracted Oceangate for a
two day mission aboard its Cyclops one to capture two
D and three D sonar scans of the wreck, as
well as video and photographs.

Speaker 1 (34:12):
They were able to.

Speaker 2 (34:14):
Complete only three out of a planned ten dives because
of very treacherous seas and thick fog, but this still
allowed a more thorough look at the wreck than had
been possible before. Of course, Oceangate is more widely known
today for the disaster that took place aboard its Cyclops two,

renamed the Titan, which imploded on June eighteenth, twenty twenty three,
during an expedition to the Titanic. On that note, Yeah,
how do you feel about listener mail? I have listener
mail that is from Claire uh. Claire wrote and said,
Hi Holly and Tracy. First, thanks a million for all

the diligent care you put into the podcast. I've been
enjoying the fruits of your labor for ye. I have
just finished listening to the Spring twenty twenty four Unearthed episode.
Toward the end of part one, there was a mention
of the addition of a Guinness Archive to the Ancestry
Catalog to help bridge a gap by the destruction of
the Irish National Archive during the Civil War here in Ireland.

This is a lovely gesture, but it's a pity that
it's now behind a paywall. Luckily, there is a free
alternative which was funded by the Irish government as part
of the founding of the state's centenary commemorations and celebrations.
A project called Beyond twenty twenty two was undertaken to
digitally reconstitute the lost Treasury archives by leveraging a host

of archives which have duplicate information across the globe. I
was lucky enough to work alongside the multidisciplinary team who
created this archive. It is available here. That is a
virtual Treasury dot Ie. Not only can the archive be
searched for free, but you can even explore a three
D model of the destroyed Treasury building too.

Speaker 1 (36:02):
Please spread the word for pet Tax.

Speaker 2 (36:05):
I've attached photos of my three and a half year
old Scottish terrier called I should have looked up how
to say this in Irish. I'm just gonna try it,
and I apologize if I do it very badly. Sona Shasta.
This is Irish for contented happiness. He is basically his name.

How sweet. Thanks again for all your work. I never
miss an episode. So this was again from Claire. Thank
you so much, Claire.

Speaker 1 (36:36):
I don't remember if this archive was something that I
stumbled across while doing research for Unearthed back in twenty
twenty two, that would have been a logical fit to include.
If I did, it was for sure not mentioned in
the news coverage about Guinness, which was, of course, you know,
a lot of it released by Guinness. But yeah, that's

and it makes a lot of sense that a lot
of the records that were destroyed there during the Civil
War would have also had counterparts in other parts of
Ireland and elsewhere, so that is really cool that so
much of that has been brought together. Also, man a
Scottish terrier. Scottish terriers are so cute to me, They're

so cute.

Speaker 2 (37:23):
And this, this particular one, super duper cute, shown in
the last picture with a like a blue and yellow
tennis ball, tongue out panting very happily. I'm very sorry
if I mangled this dog's name by having not tried
to find pronunciations before getting into doing listener meals today.

If you'd like to send us a note, we're at
History Podcasts at iHeartRadio dot com and you can subscribe
to our show on the iHeartRadio app or wherever else
you'd like to get your podcasts. Stuff you missed in
History Class is a production of iHeartRadio. For more podcasts

from iHeartRadio, visit the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever
you listen to your favorite shows.

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Tracy V. Wilson

Tracy V. Wilson

Holly Frey

Holly Frey

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