The Andrea Doria
My father still has nightmares about that terrible night aboard the Andrea Doria. "I still have dreams about it. I see people drowning. I see people crying and trying to save themselves...It all happened so fast." My dad, who was 15, his mother Angela, and his 21-year-old brother Luigi survived the accident that claimed 51 lives.
My dad was sound asleep aboard the Italian ship when it collided with the Swedish Liner Stockholm off Nantucket at about 11:30 p.m. on July 26, 1956. "I was in a cabin sleeping when I heard the noise,"
He awoke to find he had been thrown to the floor by the force of the crash. "My mother, she was scared. There was water coming in. We went up to the second floor, where the swimming pool was." My dad was still in his pajamas, and had no shoes on.
"We lost everything. (But) you never think about money or anything, you try to save yourself." Somehow they were lucky enough to find my uncle Luigi, before the lower decks were sealed off. What happened after that is a blur.
"There was so much confusion. People were jumping in the water. They were drowning.'' Because the ship was listing, a rope was dropped off the high side of the sinking ship. People had to climb up it, and then climb down the rope and into the lifeboats. Not everyone could do it. "I still see an old lady-- she was about 90 years old. She tried to slide down the rope. You had to raise yourself onto the top (of the ship), and then grab the big rope and throw yourself down. There was nothing else you could do. You had to try to save yourself and you had to do your best."
The elderly woman didn't make it, he said. The Moscatiello's were waiting in line to get to the lifeboats when my grandmother, pushed her two sons into the last two seats of a lifeboat. Later, her sons learned she boarded another boat.
My dad remembers falling into the water, and someone rescuing him. Then he was unconscious for a while. When he awoke, he was on the floor of a rescue ship. He looked out on the water, and saw the Andrea Doria sinking into the Atlantic. But the wreck of the Andrea Doria is not the end of his story.
A year later, uncle Luigi (picture on left) drowned in Snyders Lake in North Greenbush. It was a hot June day, and the Moscatiello boys had gone with several other youths to Snyders Lake. ". Somehow my dad fell into a deep spot in the lake.
"I went down. My brother tried to save me. But God didn't want me... My brother raised me up, but he went down in the hole. I found myself saved, and my brother drowned." The tragedy contributed to my dad's nightmares about the Andrea Doria.
"Every year around the anniversary, I can't go near the water. I'm scared to go in the water. It's like a dream. I see everything with my eyes. It's something you never get over. I will never forget."
About the Andrea Doria
The following pages contain information on the ship Andrea Doria, it's collision and sinking. All the text and many of the images on this page is furnished by the courtesy of Mr. Anthony Grillo at www.andreadoria.org.
These pages will contain mostly images of the ships before and after the collision. Look at these images and for many more details on the collision, click on the URL above and see Mr. Grillo's site. A new addition was added 9/9/99. This is an article with some images of survivors that was from the "The Newsday", a Long Island newspaper, on Monday, July 26,1999. This was about the reunion marking the 43 anniversary of the sinking. Along with the images and text on these pages is a Real Audio (audio only) reproduction of a PBS special on the Andrea Doria and it's sinking from the "Survivors" program.
For convenience, we have broken it down into 3 parts. The first part is about the ship and it's origin, first voyage, and the beginning of the voyage leading up to the collision, this is on the "The Ships" page and runs about 6 minutes. The second part is about the collision and is on the first "Collision" page and runs about 2 1/2 minutes. The third part reflects the sinking and is on "The Sinking" page and runs a little over 6 minutes.
In order to optimize this presentation it is recommended that you let the page "load" first before starting the audio presentation. This will allow you to hear without interruption and read at the same time. With increase internet access speed we will be able to provide more streaming video as well. You will need the G2 Real Player to hear this so if you don't have the version, download it by clicking the link below and when your finished come back and click Images and Links.