Search
Close this search box.

Dual-nation expedition commemorates Andrea Doria

By

Andrea Doria
Advertisement

A team of Italian and American divers, led by Captain Joe Mazraani of D/V Tenacious and Andrea Murdock Alpini of Phy Diving Equipment, completed a 20-28 July expedition to the wreckage of both SS Andrea Doria and MS Stockholm’s bow.

The expedition, entitled Un Lembo Di Patria (A Piece of Our Homeland), commemorated the 67th anniversary of Andrea Doria’s sinking and the 55th anniversary of the first Italian-led expedition to the wreck.

Andrea Doria was a luxury, Italian liner that sank approximately 60 miles off Nantucket after a collision with Stockholm on 25 July 1956. Andrea Doria sank the following day, but Stockholm limped back to New York with a missing bow.

Andrea Doria
Bow capstan on the Andrea Doria

The Italian divers became the first from their country to dive the bow wreckage of Stockholm, which was identified and first dived by a team from D/V Tenacious in the fall of 2020.

Thirteen years after Andrea Doria’s sinking, famed Italian diver Bruno Vailati led a team, including Stefano Carletti and others, to the wreck site. Carletti later immortalized Andrea Doria in his book Andrea Doria – 74, titled for the wreck’s 74m depth. The Un Lembo Di Patria Expedition retraced the 1968 expedition’s steps. Often referred to as ‘The Mt. Everest of Wreck Diving', Andrea Doria’s scattered remains lie more than 80 miles from the team’s Fairhaven, MA staging point. The team made two separate trips to the site in an eight-day period and collectively completed a total of 52 dives to Andrea Doria and three to Stockholm. The highly experienced technical dive team had to be self-sufficient to conduct operations in the harsh North Atlantic environment.

“The Expedition Un Lembo Di Patria on the wreck of the Andrea Doria, run in collaboration with D/V Tenacious and Phy Diving Equipment, was very important for Italy,” said Andrea Murdock Alpini, the leader of the Italian team. “The goal was to film the whole wreck, from stern to bow, to describe its conservation status and the Doria’s future on the ocean floor.”

Andrea Doria
Close up of the bow, showing the damage from the impact with the ocean floor

Fondazione Ansaldo, the archives of the shipping company that built Andrea Doria, and the municipality of Genoa provided official support for the expedition. “It does not matter if the ship one day disappears,” added Alpini. “Through expeditions like this one, her glorious past will remain forever.”

Italian diver David D’Anna’s grandfather, Alfredo Brunoli, was a tourist-class passenger aboard Andrea Doria. Fifty-one people perished in the Andrea Doria disaster. Life Magazine chronicled both the sinking and the first salvage efforts, making the ship’s sinking one of the most famous in recent history.

Brunoli was one of the more than 1,600 passengers and crew that survived. He boarded SS Andrea Doria for a vacation to New York, something he had dreamed about and saved for since fighting in World War Two. That vacation turned into a nightmare when his ship was struck, but he escaped the sinking ship and was rescued and transported to New York by Stockholm. David made dives to Andrea Doria on 26 July 2023, exactly 67 years after his grandfather survived the disaster. He called the opportunity to dive the wreck, ‘a great gift'.

Andrea Doria
Marco Setti (top) and Andrea Murdock Alpini decompressing after a dive on the Andrea Doria

“Shipwreck diving is about more than salvaging artefacts from vessels sitting on the ocean floor. It is about connecting people to history,” said D/V Tenacious Captain Joe Mazraani. “It was our privilege to participate in and provide the diving platform for Expedition Un Lembo Di Patria. We are grateful to Phy Diving, Fondazione Ansaldo, the people of Genoa, Fairhaven Shipyard, and a tremendous team of divers and surface support crew for making this possible.”

He added, “The best part of this adventure was sharing the rich history of Andrea Doria with our Italian brethren.”

The team consisted of: Italian divers Andrea Murdock Alpini, David D’Anna, and Marco Setti; American divers Bryan Cunningham, Chris Ogden, Anthony Tedeschi, Tim Whitehead, and Joe Mazraani; and surface support team member Jennifer Sellitti. Expeditions staged from Fairhaven Shipyard in Fairhaven, MA.

Andrea Doria
The Andrea Doria's port side anchor

“I’ve always been interested in Shipwrecks since I was a kid,” said Bryan Cordeiro, Dockmaster at Fairhaven Shipyard Companies, Inc. “Hosting Joe and D/V Tenacious for the second year in a row has been an honour for the marina and me. You never know what they will pull up and return with! I look forward to hosting the crew for years to come.”

In addition to assisting the archives and Italian government with assessing the wreck’s condition, the team participated in studies for the University of Padua and Italy’s National Research Institute. These institutions are studying the effects that deep, repetitive diving has on the human body. Andrea Murdick Alpini is creating a film about the 2023 expedition to be released this autumn, and his new books about Andrea Doria will be published next year. The team plans to reunite again in 2024 to further document the wreck and film the ship’s interior.

Photo credit: Joe Mazraani / D/V Tenacious

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

1 Comment
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Peter Lloyd
Peter Lloyd
10 months ago

Fantastic. Thank you for the photos.

LET’S KEEP IN TOUCH!

Get a weekly roundup of all Scuba Diver news and articles Scuba Mask
We don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.


Picture of Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
Latest Stories
Advertisement
1
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x