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Two N.J. divers find historic Andrea Doria bell at famous shipwreck site

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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:48 PM
Original message
Two N.J. divers find historic Andrea Doria bell at famous shipwreck site
http://www.nj.com/news/index.ssf/2010/06/two_nj_divers_...



By Grace Chung/The Star-Ledger

Two New Jersey divers sent waves throughout the wreck-diving community with the discovery of what is believed to the "bridge bell" from the historic shipwreck of the Andrea Doria, the luxury Italian ocean liner that sunk in 1956 off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Ernest Rookey, of Jackson, and Carl Bayer, of Hillsborough, were part of an expedition team diving on the wreck when they made the find 240 feet below the ocean's surface. Both men were diving the Andrea Doria for the first time as last minute fill-ins on the expedition after two other crew members dropped out.

All we hoped for was to get a little trinket to take home to remember our dive, Rookey said. Im still stunned, the bell was totally unexpected. Theres just no way else to describe how we feel."

The bell, which weighs about 75lbs and stands two feet tall, is one of the few artifacts which has the ships name engraved on it.

This is an incredibly significant find, said expedition group leader, Joel Silverstein, of Arizona. Think of it like finding a needle in a haystack.

The last major discovery was made when the stern bell was discovered by a group led by Gary Gentile in 1985, according to Silverstein.
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tridim Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:53 PM
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1. George Costanza probably isn't all that impressed with this find.
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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:56 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Ha!! I did a DU search on "Andrea Doria" before I posted this...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:53 PM
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2. Awesome. Nt
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Liberal_in_LA Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 07:59 PM
Response to Reply #2
4. agreed.
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malaise Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:00 PM
Response to Original message
5. Fascinating
Here's an interesting website from a man who was rescued as a three year old
http://www.andreadoria.org/
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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-30-10 08:11 PM
Response to Reply #5
6. That's THE definitive website about the disaster!
Edited on Wed Jun-30-10 08:14 PM by Dennis Donovan
Thanks for the link! :hi:

Here's the Wikipedia entry for the "Miracle Girl" of the wreck, Linda Morgan:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linda_Morgan

<snip>
The 14-year-old girl was sharing a two-bed cabin with her younger half-sister on the S.S. Andrea Doria when the ship was struck broadside by the prow of the MS Stockholm. During the collision, she was somehow propelled out of her bed and onto the Stockholm's crushed bow, landing safely behind a bulwark as the two ships scraped past each other before separating as the fatally-stricken Andrea Doria disappeared back into the fog.



In the ensuing confusion, a Stockholm crewman heard her calling for her mother in Spanish, an unusual language on the Swedish ship. A crewman who spoke Spanish was able to translate. The teen apparently was first to grasp what must have happened, saying to 36-year-old Bernabe Polanco Garcia, "I was on the Andrea Doria. Where am I now?"

The sister sleeping in the adjoining bed in Linda's cabin was killed, one of 50 passengers and crew who died in the impact areas on the two ships. After all the surviving passengers and crew were evacuated by several rescue ships (most notably the S.S. Ile de France), the Andrea Doria capsized and sank the next morning. With ships of several nations transporting survivors, communication of news to the waiting families was difficult. Linda Morgan and her younger sister were both listed among missing passengers in the early reports.

Linda's father, ABC Radio Network news commentator Edward P. Morgan, was based in New York City. On his daily broadcast, he reported a memorable account of the collision of the ocean liners, not telling his thousands of listeners that his daughter had been aboard the Andrea Doria and was believed to have been killed.

Linda, who suffered a broken arm, was quickly dubbed the "miracle girl" by the news media as the story of her survival and the circumstances spread. She returned to New York City aboard the crippled Stockholm, where she was reunited with her mother and her father. Edward Morgan then made another memorable broadcast less able to conceal his emotions, describing the difference between reporting the news about strangers and his own loved ones, and describing also the extremes of despair, joy, and gratitude that he had experienced.
</snip>


Here's Linda in 2007 with her husband, former Democratic Mayor of San Antonio Phil Hardberger:




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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 02:03 AM
Response to Original message
7. K&R. Wow! Interesting and definitive find...
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 02:12 AM by Rhiannon12866
And it's in pretty good shape... IMO, this tragedy should have gotten much more attention than it has, recent enough that there are survivors who will remember, and certainly more enlightening and bizarre stories that have yet to be told... :(

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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 05:44 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Many important lessons were learned from the accident...
...that ultimately made their way into today's SOLAS regulations. :thumbsup:
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 12:22 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. It's a dramatic and fascinating story
And here's hoping that this incredible find brings it more international attention... Thanks for posting, and the reminder! :thumbsup:
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 03:48 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. BTW, my aunt had the LIFE Magazine issue about this tragedy...
Edited on Thu Jul-01-10 03:56 PM by Rhiannon12866
I remember looking at the dramatic pix as a small child, so it made an impression and stuck with me. That could well be what ignited my interest in such things. When they had the estate sale, there was a whole collection of LIFE issues, many much older than this one, and I so wish that I'd thought to look for this particular issue... :banghead:

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Dennis Donovan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-01-10 09:43 PM
Response to Reply #10
11. Did you know then that you'd be talking about it on DU today? ;-)
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Rhiannon12866 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-02-10 12:57 AM
Response to Reply #11
12. Since it was in 1995, I think not...
I wish I had it because it made such an indelible impression on me, but you never do know when such things will come in handy, like my Titanic box. ;)
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