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Okay, Don't get mad. I am gonna share a short memory that still haunts my dreams

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  • Member since
    October 2019
  • From: New Braunfels, Texas
Okay, Don't get mad. I am gonna share a short memory that still haunts my dreams
Posted by Tanker-Builder on Sunday, March 1, 2020 10:55 AM

This is about a ship;


        Ah, she was a beautiful thing, Red waterline ,Semi gloss Black hull and bright white upperworks enhanced by that Yacht like Sheer line. The Pride of the Italian Lines. Yes, Kiddies, the Andrea Doria.

      Now enter another. Swedish Flag flying proudly. Yup,the Stockholm!  Port authorities asked fishing craft outbound to stay to the absolute boundaries of the area because of Heavy Fog!

    Both ships will make history in a few minutes whether in a Human mistake in confusion or just plain Very Bad luck. Who turned wrong, Will it ever be known? Not sure. But here goes. Foghorns blaring the two ships approached at speeds that shouldn't even been considered that day, given the conditions.

   We were about four thousand yards off in the fog when we heard the collision horns start blaring they're deadly song. Then, like a clap of thunder accompanied by the scream of tortured metal these two Seagoing Ladies met.

 The Stockholm, built for ice condition almost cut the bow off the Doria. That's how far she penetrated the Doria's Hull. Both ships locked in a Mortal embrace. Then slowly the Stockholm backed out of the wound taking both wreckage and cabin occupants with her.

      Yes, there was some wonderment later when a little girl was found alive in the Doria Wreckage on the Stockholm's Bow deck. Now everyone held their breath. Would both these greyounds of Civilian shipping make it back to port? While they were both struggling to stay alive, the world didn't know that the Stockholm was taking water as badly as the Doria.

    Pontucci and Corales and other fishing company boats stood off in case they were instructed to render aid. The Amigone boats turned around and raced to the scene to do the same. I was on Amigone's "Sea Princess" that day. Why. My second trip as Cabin boy on my uncle's boat. Learning the ropes, fishing off the Sleek, Yacht looking Tuna Clippers running around then.

     We crept closer as the fog cleared. Seeing the Doria struggling to stay alive and save her passengers was bringing tears to all the older Sicilian and Italian and Greek men on board many boats that morning. We were instructed by port authorities to stand clear, render aid only if asked and remain clear of the scene as the Ile de france was launching her boats. We hadn't even seen her, Double the size of the Andrea Doria standing off a safe distance.

        The Stockholm slowly, Well more a crawl, than anything else slid by, her bow crumpled beyond belief and bow down for about half her length.  We backed off another couple of hundred yards, but, remained on site. Our sister boat fished two persons out of the water and headed for port. They had been Doria crew stationed near the bow for inport maneuvers.

       We remained there, fixated on the events playing out there. We were finally tasked as were many of the boats around to stay clear of the Doria herself, but pull any debris of a floating nature out of the water to help keep the area clear for the Ile de France's boats and Coast Guard and tug units on scene and those yet to arrive.

        We looked over at the Doria. her bow was already at the waters edge and her stern high when she rolled over on one side. The Noise was not one anyone that loves ships ever wants to hear. The escaping air sounding like the death moans of a great Queen.

 She stayed that way for it seemed hours then suddenly and silently she slid beneath the waves , a proud Lady done in by events . She rests in an area of specific dangers and even this late in history she has taken divers, Well trained people with her.

      That day is engraved on my memory even more than all the others. You would had to have been there to feel the deep emotions that played out that day. Nobody caught any fish as we all went back to our ports, off loaded what wreckage we were asked to pick up and go home. To try again tomorrow.

    But, another grand Lady of the Sea had met her death because of the vagaries of Mother Nature and Human Mistakes. Shoot, the sea was even running gentle that day.

   There is more I cannot put into words as my fishing career lasted only two more voyages because the law said the family was endangering me. A child who grew up mostly around Floaty Thingies of all sizes. Oh, Well. There you have it.

  • Member since
    June 2017
  • From: Winter Park, FL
Posted by fotofrank on Sunday, March 1, 2020 12:07 PM

Tank-Builder, I remember that event. I was eleven years old. I remember the live images from the scene of the collision on the television. Watching what transpired, even to a kid like me, was surreal. Our whole family had gathered around the TV. We were in awe of what we were seeing. The St. Louis Globe Democrat and the Post Dispatch both ran half page pictures of the scene.

OK. On the bench: Way too much to build in one lifetime...

  • Member since
    October 2004
  • From: Orlando, Florida
Posted by ikar01 on Sunday, March 1, 2020 3:47 PM

I don't remember when it happened, I was only about 5, but learned aboiut it laster and in one book there were drawings of how it looked back then.  I showed large fishing nets that had been speared by it various outcroppings.  It was called a very dangerous ship to approach and there was a story in the section aboiut a diver who alwqys wandtd to stand on the ship's bridge.  Needles to say they foiund him later, still on the bridge I believe.


  • Member since
    August 2014
  • From: Willamette Valley, Oregon
Posted by goldhammer on Sunday, March 1, 2020 6:56 PM

TB.... We keep finding more interesting tidbits of your life on a daily basis.



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