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ST. ALBANS Official no: 23514 propeller, wood, passenger & package freight
Build info: 1868, Ira Lafrinier, Cleveland.
Specs: 135x26x11, 435 t.
Date of loss: 1881, Jan 30
Place of loss: 8 mi NNE of
Type of loss: ice
Loss of life: none of 27
Carrying: general merchandise, flour, cattle
Detail: She rammed a cake of ice, which filled the hole it had made in her hull. She rushed for shore, but as the ice melted, the vessel filled and sank.
She was a Northern Transportation Co. boat serving small
Sources: hgl,nsp,mv,lmdc,usls,mpl,bb / Bill Prince
The Andrea Doria
Richie Kohler John Chatterton
The whole world knew of the Andrea Doria even before she set sail. Follow the history of the opulent wreck, from its maiden voyage to its current state of decay on the Atlantic seafloor, and see why divers are still willing to risk it all to explore this wreck.
Before John Chatterton and Richie Kohler became famous for identifying the U-869, they honed their wreck-diving skills on the Andrea Doria.
— In "The Air of Everest," Chatterton recalls the risks he and others took on the wreck in the "outlaw diving" days of the 1980s. "The way we dove back then should make any modern day certified diver cringe."
— Kohler's essay, "The Greenhorn," details how a bout of "china fever" nearly turned fatal for him and his wreck diving mentor. "I lost my focus down there and could've gotten us both killed for a dish."
Bob Hollis of Oceanic
Deep Trouble: Dive Pioneer Bob Hollis details his harrowing dives on the Doria as part of the first commercial salvage effort to recover valuables from the ship.
In the early 1970s Don Rodocker and Chris DeLucchi formed a new company, Saturation Systems Inc. Drawing on their extensive training and experience as U.S. Navy saturation divers (Rodocker was selected to make the first 850 foot saturation dive; DeLucchi established an open seas saturation depth record of 945 feet) one of their first projects was a commercial salvage expedition on the Andrea Doria. The objective was to cut a hole in the wreck to recover the purser's safe. To do that, the company built a portable saturation habitat named Mother that could be lowered to the side of the wreck. The divers in the habitat would breathe a mixture of 92 percent helium and 8 percent oxygen, allowing them to live and work for days and then decompress before surfacing. Bob Hollis, founder and CEO of Oceanic Worldwide, was one of the divers who worked on the expedition – Ed.
Making History: Evelyn Bartram Dudas, the first woman to dive the Andrea Doria, shares her stories of exploring the massive wreck, including the recovery of the wheelhouse compass.
Evelyn Bartram Dudas was newly certified in 1966 when she was invited to speak to at local Lions Club luncheon about the novel sport of scuba diving. During her talk she vowed to become the first woman to dive the Andrea Doria. The following summer, she made good on the promise at the young age of 22. Here she recalls the wonder of seeing the wreck for the first time, and how her future husband John Dudas recovered the wheelhouse compass—a prized artifact that is on display at her dive store, Dudas' Diving Duds, in West Chester, Pa.—Ed.
Diving the Doria Today: Though the wreck is in a rapid state of decay, it still attracts divers who want to prove their skills. See what it takes to join the roster of successful Andrea Doria divers.
Doria Links: Learn more about the wreck with these resources.