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Saved: The Story Of The Andrea Doria—the Greatest Sea Rescue In History

July 2024
1min read

by William Hoffer Summit Books Approximately 16 pages of photographs, 256 pages, $11.95

There was no single glaring error that caused the Andrea Doria and the Stockholm , both equipped with radar, to collide in the fog off Nantucket on the night of July 25,1956. Rather, a series of small mistakes of judgment aboard both vessels interacted terrifyingly to cause the disaster. The Andrea Doria , completed only three years earlier, was certified unsinkable. But it is clear from this scrupulously researched account that the rescue of 1660 of the 1706 people aboard the Italian liner was due more to the proximity of the Ile de France and other ships that responded promptly to the SOS than to the safety features or procedures of the stricken ship.

Through interviews with survivors and the official records, William Hoffer has reconstructed what happened—a child miraculously scooped from her bed on the Andrea Doria and lodged alive in the shattered prow of the Stockholm ; a captain who unaccountably gave his passengers no instructions; crew members who shoved passengers aside to jam into the first lifeboats; and a bartender who cajoled, organized, and eventually saved everyone in his area.

This exciting, moving book is a natural for a movie, another A Night to Remember with a happier ending.

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