Desperate Hours the epic rescue of the Andrea Doria
by Goldstein, Richard
pub by John Wiley abd Sons Inc., NY - 2001 - - isbn 0-471-38934-X - -LCCN 2001 024233 - - 294 p. - - Contents p. vii-viii Acknowledgments p. ix Introduction p. 1-2 Appendix p. 281-282 Sources (and bibliography) p. 283-286 Index p. 287- 284.
This book would be better subtitled - the rescue of the passengers and crew of the Andrea Doria - as the ship itself sank. The vast majority of the passengers and all the crew were rescued. The Stockholm lost 5 of its crew.
This is a thorough examination of the crash of the liner Stockholm and the liner Andrea Doria in a heavy fog south of Nantucket Island, about 150 miles east of New York and about 150 miles SSE of Boston at 11:20 PM on 25 July 1956. Both ships had radar, but the interpretation of what was seen on their radars and their officers responses to what was seen was faulty.
The book is divided into Parts and further divided into chapters. The Parts are
- I. The Voyage - including a fair amount of background on the ships.
- II. The Collision
- III. The Rescue. a very long section of 19 chapters giving a lot of information. At first the Capt. of the Stockholm, after determining that it was not in danger of sinking dispatched its lifeboats to rescue the people on the Andrea Doria which was determined as possibly sinking. After the distress signal was sent a number of ships responded the largest which took the majority of those rescued was the Ille de France a large well appointed liner which had its own full complement of passengers itself, and which had just left New York and was near but just east of the Andrea Doria. Half of the lifeboats on the Andrea Doria could not be launched due to the fact that the ship was listing (tipping) too far over for the lifeboats on one side to launch.
- IV. The Questions - including professional examination and the Court case which attempted to assign blame, but was finally settled out of court.
- V. The Memories - which followed the rescued and the ships officers for years after the disaster.
- VI. The Shipwreck - diving on the wreck at a depth of just over 200 feet deep at the top of the wreck to 250 feet at the bottom - deep diving hazards and deaths.
I had a personal interest in this event as it happened some 14 months before my parents, sister and I sailed across the Atlantic from Bremerhaven, Germany to New York on the US Navy troop carrier Upshur traveling very near the the exact location of the collision and entering New York harbor on a very early misty morning, steaming past the Statue of Liberty. The fact that a collision and sinking had occurred was on our minds but did not cause undue fear. This was at the end of my fathers 3 year USAF duty assignment in Spain and Germany.
This is a very thorough and well written description of the whole event.
Many years ago I read -Collision Course- by Alvin Moscow, originally published 1959. I probably read the Readers Digest condensed version which covered the bases from what was known at the time.
-Desperate Hours- is recommended reading for anyone who has any interest in the event or in disasters at sea.
~ 2018-03-19 ~
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