53 years since the Andrea Doria went down

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The Swedish passenger ship Stockholm and the Italian passenger ship Andrea Doria collided on the edge of a heavy fog bank July 25, 1956 off Nantucket.

The Andrea Doria sank several hours after the collision, but not before 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued. There were 46 deaths.

While the exact cause of the casualty has never been determined, it appears to have been a “radar-assisted” collision, with the officers of the watch on both vessels misinterpreting the radar images and taking the wrong actions.

The wreck of the Andrea Doria has become a popular, though notorious, destination for deep-sea divers.

The Stockholm was rebuilt following the collision. It has gone through a number of owners and names and now sails as the cruise ship Athena. On December 3, 2008, it was attacked by pirates while transiting the Gulf of Aden, but was able to evade the attempted boarding by its crew firing water cannons at the attackers.

This information is courtesy of Bryant’s Maritime Blog, on July 24, which has posted photos.

For information about the ship, visit the Andrea Doria Web site created by survivor Anthony Grillo.