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SECRETS OF THE DEAD S5 EP4 The Sinking of the Andrea Doria

The moral of the story is man's sense of invincibilty. As in driving, you have to adjust your speed to the conditions. If they both cut their speed while making radar contact nothing would have happened. If one did the collision may very well have been avoided. 


SS Andrea Doria was an ocean liner for the Italian Line (Società di navigazione Italia) home ported in Genoa, Italy, most famous for her sinking in 1956, when 46 people were killed.

Named after the 16th-century Genoese admiral Andrea Doria, the ship had a gross register tonnage of 29,100 and a capacity of about 1,200 passengers and 500 crew. For a country attempting to rebuild its economy and reputation after World War II, Andrea Doria was an icon of Italian national pride. Of all Italy's ships at the time, Andrea Doria was the largest, fastest, and supposedly safest. Launched on 16 June 1951, the ship undertook its maiden voyage on 14 January 1953.

On 25 July 1956, while Andrea Doria was approaching the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, bound for New York City, the eastbound MS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line collided with it in one of history's most infamous maritime disasters. Struck in the side, the top-heavy Andrea Doria immediately started to list severely to starboard, which left half of its lifeboats unusable. The consequent shortage of lifeboats could have resulted in significant loss of life, but the efficiency of the ship's technical design allowed it to stay afloat for over 11 hours after the ramming. The good behavior of the crew, improvements in communications, and the rapid response of other ships averted a disaster similar in scale to that of Titanic in 1912. While 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued and survived, 46 people died with the ship as a consequence of the collision. The evacuated luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning. This accident remains the worst maritime disaster to occur in United States waters since the sinking of the SS Eastland in 1915.

The incident and its aftermath were heavily covered by the news media. While the rescue efforts were both successful and commendable, the cause of the collision with Stockholm and the loss of Andrea Doria generated much interest in the media and many lawsuits. Largely because of an out-of-court settlement agreement between the two shipping companies during hearings immediately after the disaster, no determination of the cause(s) was ever formally published. Although greater blame appeared initially to fall on the Italian liner, more recent discoveries have indicated that a misreading of radar on the Swedish ship initiated the collision course, leading to errors on both ships.


For actions on July 25, 1956

Gallant Ship Award citation:

“Responding unhesitatingly to an SOS from the sinking Andrea Doria off Nantucket Island in the North Atlantic on the night of July 25, 1956, the Cape Ann raced fifteen miles through dangerously thick fog to the side of the stricken ship. Holding a position close to the sinking ship, the Cape Ann launched her two lifeboats, which in a series of trips brought back to the ship a total of one hundred and twenty-nine victims of the disaster, many of them injured. All were taken safely aboard, contributing to one of the greatest marine rescues in history.

The courage, resourcefulness, sound seamanship and teamwork of her master, officers and crew in successfully completing an extraordinary rescue operation caused the name of the Cape Ann to be perpetuated as a Gallant ship.”

SS Cape Ann, a C1-B type break-bulk cargo ship, was built by the Consolidated Steel Corp. in Los Angeles, California for the U.S. Maritime Commission. Completed on June 30, 1943, American Mail Line operated the ship as general agent from its launch through the end of World War II. After the war, United Fruit Company operated Cape Ann. The company purchased the vessel outright from the Maritime Commission, via its subsidiary Munargo Line, on March 26, 1947


Posted by Conspiracy Cafe on July 20, 2018 at 5:42 PM 88 Views