Deep Descent Adventure and Death Diving the Andrea Doria by Kevin F McMurray

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Dec 12, 1999
I received this recently-published book, as a gift. Has anyone read it? The book jacket states that: "Every year, more divers accept the Andrea Doria's challenge, and some do not survive the attempt. DEEP DESCENT is the riveting true story of those who face the danger and conquer their fear, and of the tragedy that can result when courage is not enough." It sounds as though it's more about diving, than the Doria. Any thoughts?
Jul 9, 2000
Easley South Carolina
'Fraid I can't help you on this one Jan. The Andrea Doria book I picked up recently is "DESPERATE HOURS."

If you can get it, I think you'll find this one worthwhile as well as it goes in depth on the disaster itself.

As I understand it, the one you have you stated...about diving on the wreck. Rather a dicey game to play considering how deep the ship is. It's right on the edge of what can be done with ordinary SCUBA gear.

Michael H. Standart
Dec 31, 2000
Hello Jan,

Hope all is well for you. That book is more on diving. A lot of people have lost their lives diving on the Doria. With every group that goes down, they find another body to bring back up with them. Dangerous stuff. I watched a lot of Gimbel's stuff. He and his wife were cremated and put inside the wreck in their urns.

Hope this helps,


Inger Sheil

Feb 9, 1999
Dangerous stuff, yes - while experienced, responsible divers are losing their lives on her through tragic accidents, there are also cases of people who simply shouldn't have been on her in the first place. In one instance, a physically unfit man with less than 100 dives (less even then my experience) who had only recently received his technical diving training was killed while diving the wreck. From my recollection, he'd made one successful dive (through some miracle) but found himself in physical difficulties on or near the surface during the course of the second dive. In another tragic case, a responsible diver died after taking a wrong turn in the wreck - his friends later recovered his body. It was theorised that his dyslexia, along with nitrogen narcosis, might have contributed to his confusion and loss of sense of direction.

Personally I've long harboured a desire to one day dive the ship, as my interest in her pre-dates even my interest in the Titanic. However, at present I hold only an advanced recreational certificate, and would have to train for a tech certification as well. I also have limited experience with wreck penetration dives and no formal training in the area. The Andrea Doria has been called the Mount Everest of technical diving, and you simply don't do it without a tremendous amount of training and preparation. Most of these dives are undertaken solo - you're dependent on yourself and your equipment, and if either fails the odds are that help will never reach you. Unless you're certain that you're physically and mentally prepared for it, you shouldn't be in the water - and even if you are, there's still a chance that you could become a statistic.

That said...who wants to do a tech diving course with me? Phil H - you sometimes get your big toe wet, don't you? Do the course, take in a few Brit wrecks like the Dongala, and then we can move on to the Britannic and Lusitania (after heavy lobbying for the necessary permits) and then toddle over to the Carpathia before setting out for the Andrea Doria...doesn't the thought of hauling those twin tanks up a ladder in the middle of rolling seas after several hours deco time get the adrenaline going?
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