The wreck of Italian Line’s Andrea Doria off Nantucket may be in worse shape than earlier sonar images indicate, with her bow nearly sheared off, a team of undersea researchers report.
OceanGate, a Washington-based team equipped with an underwater vessel, spent two full days at the wreck earlier this month capturing more than a dozen sonar images of the liner, which capsized and sank in 1956 after colliding with Swedish-American Line’s Stockholm.
“It looks so dramatically different,” said Stockton Rush, OceanGate’s CEO, speaking at Boston’s Long Wharf, with the underwater vessel resting nearby on a docked boat. “When you look at the shape of the hull, it appears a lot has come off.”
“When (Andrea Doria) first went down, it was pristine and you went straight into the hull and through the windows,” Rush said. “Now, it is harder to get inside and far more dangerous. Imagine it as a collapsing cave. Once the cave loses its basic structure, it deteriorates very quickly.”
The team plans to return to the site next year to continue its sonar mapping. Their goal is to create a “virtual model” of the exterior of the wreck as well as its debris field.
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