Oregon State UniversitySpecial Collections & Archives Research Center

Viola Gentle Records, 1956-1964

Historical Note

On 25 July 1956, while the Andrea Doria was approaching the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, bound for New York City, the eastbound MS Stockholm of the Swedish American Line collided with it in what became one of history's most infamous maritime disasters. Struck in the side, the top-heavy Andrea Doria immediately started to list severely to starboard, which left half of its lifeboats unusable. The consequent shortage of lifeboats might have resulted in significant loss of life, but the efficiency of the ship's technical design allowed it to stay afloat for over 11 hours after the ramming. The good behavior of the crew, improvements in communications and the rapid response of other ships averted a disaster similar in scale to that of the Titanic in 1912. 1,660 passengers and crew were rescued and survived, while 46 people died as a consequence of the collision. The evacuated luxury liner capsized and sank the following morning. This accident remains the worst maritime disaster to occur in United States waters since the sinking of the S.S. Eastland in 1915.

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