Friends of the Andrea Doria Newsletter

Vol. 1 Issue 12 Wednesday, April 23, 2003

Hello friends,

Another History Channel program is in the works about the Andrea Doria. This one is a diving adventure. Lone Wolf Pictures has been commissioned by the History Channel to film an expedition to the Andrea Doria. The expedition is trying to locate the Ship's Bell as well as the Norseman, the Chrysler Car of the Future. The expedition is scheduled for July 14-18 2003 and it includes a few of the heavy hitters of the diving community. The hosts of the program will be Richie Kohler and John Chatterton. If you read any of the recent books about the Andrea Doria dives you know who they are. Also diving will be John Moyer who holds the Admiralty rights to the Andrea Doria. I'm not sure when it will be on TV but I'll let you know.

Lisa Wolfinger from Lone Wolf Pictures has agreed to drop a memorial wreath on the site this year. She also agreed to video it. It would be nice if it made it on the show but all I hope for is a copy for the web site. Now about the wreath. Last year we collected nearly all of the funds needed for the wreath. I'd like to collect funds again this year for the wreath. If we could collect about $150.00 we would be able to order a very nice wreath for the memorial service to remember those that are entombed in the ship and the others that lost their lives in the ocean. Please send whatever you can, even a dollar would be appreciated.

Please remember that the web site does not have a Not For Profit status like a museum or charity so your contribution is NOT tax deductible.

Please send your contribution to:
Anthony Grillo
Andrea Doria Wreath
53 Peter Bush Drive
Monroe, NY 10950-3019

If you are sending a contribution from Europe you can send me a Euro bill and I can exchange it at the airport. To cash a European check involves a fee that is absurd.

Please don't wait to send a contribution, I'd like to get it by July 1st so I can order the wreath. I'll send out another reminder in the next newsletter.


I have received a notice that the Lions Club in Italy his holding a "Day of Remembering" in the small community of Lerici. Lerici is a few miles from Spezia Italy. The Lerici community has provided the Italian Merchant Marine with many of its seaman, officers, waiters and cabin stewards. Today very few go to sea and Lerici is now a tourist spot. The "Day of Remembering" is being held on April 27th at 10am at the Cinema Theatre Astoria Di Lerici and will remember those who perished as well as survived the collision of the Andrea Doria and Stockholm. It will be a conference of survivors and experts. They will also honor the retired seaman that for long periods of time left their homes and families to sail across the globe.
A certificate will be issued to all the survivors and retired seaman. For more information you can call Telephone: 0187-970991 Sig.Na Chiara. Please dial the proper country and city code. All are invited to this event.

In a prior newsletter I mentioned the Mr. Franco Ricci made a presentation about the Andrea Doria in Italy. A request was made the he repeat the presentation in La Spezia at a dinner of the Marine Military Circle. The presentation was sponsored by the "La Spezia, brothers of the coast".


Amanda Iacobelli wrote to ask me to add her grandfather Carlo Iacobelli to the survivor listing. Well, another error has been uncovered. Carlo was listed with the Iacobacci family. Carlo was traveling alone and was rescued by the Ile de France. He is currently living in the US.

Kate Ackenheil is the grand niece of Maria DiPego. Maria and her husband, Gino, were survivors from the Third Class section of the Andrea Doria. Kate informed me that Maria passed away on March 16, 2003 at the age of 100 years. Our condolences to the family. Her uncle Gino passed away about 12 years ago. Kate writes, "The story as I was told is that my Aunt Maria was in her cabin and my Uncle Gino was up at the bar when the collision occurred.  Uncle Gino was petrified and refused to jump into the lifeboat.  My Aunt actually pushed him, he grabbed a rope and would not let go and she punched his knuckles until he let go and dropped into the boat.  Aunt Maria actually jumped over the side and landed on her back in a life boat and suffered from back pain all of her life.  As you know the two were separated.  I don't know what boat rescued my Uncle, but I will try and find out. My grandmother (Maria's younger sister) told me she and her mother were watching television (here in San Francisco).  Apparently Aunt Maria found a pay phone after she was rescued and called home to say that she was OK."  Gino was rescued by the Ile de France.

Ardith and Donald Hanson were traveling with their mother and brother in Tourist Class. Ardith  and Donald live in the US. They have contacted me and I hope to have some more information on the family soon.

I have heard from Poul Taarning and his friend and fellow Stockholm passenger Arne Marup from Denmark. They send their regards and I hope to gather some more information from them.

Kristina Delleo writes to tell me that her great-grandparents Frank and Assunta Delleo passed away many years ago. Assunta in 1966 and Frank in 1981.


"Fatal Depth: Deep Sea Diving, China Fever and the Wreck of the Andrea Doria." by Joe Haberstroh.
The book includes a chapter on the sinking. 
Publisher: The Lyons Press; (February 2003); ISBN: 1585744573
Available from Barnes and Nobel ( and Amazon ( for about $18.00.

Book Description
At 11:10 p.m. on July 25, 1956, the luxurious Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria collided with the Stockholm forty-five miles south of Nantucket. Half a century later the wreck of the Andrea Doria is still claiming lives.

Professional and amateur divers the world over consider the Andrea Doria to be the Everest of diving. At 225 feet below the surface, the wreck lies at the very edge of human endurance and accomplishment: Ordinary air becomes toxic, and the divers who go there suffer nitrogen narcosis or "the rapture of the deep." Symptoms include confusion, lack of coordination, and perhaps most deadly of all, a loss of the ability to make clear decisions. As a result, divers use TriMix, an exotic blend of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium to descend through the strong currents, rusted metal, and twisted wires to seek fame and fortune in the form of china teacups and plates. For serious wreck divers, these fragile artifacts are genuine proof of their abilities.

During the summer of 1998 three elite divers lost their lives, all on separate dives from the top dive boat out of Montauk, the sixty-five-foot Seeker. Craig Sicola was clearly suffering from "china fever" before he went down. He'd handled teacups brought up by veteran Doria diver Gary Gentile, and the gleam in Craig's eye was unmistakable. Craig dived on June 24, 1998. A few hours later his body bobbed to the surface. He was carrying a plate.

Joe Haberstroh, the award-winning Newsday reporter, watched events unfold during the summer of 1998. In this remarkable and intriguing book he re-creates what was the pride of the Italian fleet, how it sank, the dangers of the deep, and the gripping personal stories of the men who live or die for a teacup from its remains. (6 x 9, 256 pages, illustrations)

Joe Haberstroh is the "On the Waters" columnist for Long Island's Newsday. He writes about commercial and recreational fishing, coastal environmental issues, and marine species from eels to lobsters. In 1997 he was a member of a large team of reporters who won the Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the crash of TWA Flight 800. He lives in Bay Shore, New York, with his wife and two children.

That all for this issue. Until next time please keep visiting the web site.

Anthony Grillo

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