THE MENTION OF THIS EVENT IN THE NOVEMBER 2010 ISSUE of Sea Breezes brings back vivid memories. I was a cadet on the Anchor Line’s cargo ship Tarantia in July 1956.
We were on passage from Baltimore to Halifax. I was on the 8 - 12 watch in the evening with the 3rd mate when the radio officer came into the wheelhouse and handed the 3rd mate a radio telegram, which was duly handed to me to take to the captain. Being a curious 18 year old, I opened the telegram and on reading it, realised that this was a serious situation. We were about 50 miles away from the scene of the collision. Visibility was about a mile with fog patches. Course was altered towards the position, but by the time we arrived, the French liner, Isle de France, was there and had taken the survivors of the Andrea Doria on board. The fog was now dense.
We remained on the scene until mid morning on the next day when the Andrea Doria sank, after which we were released by the American Coastguard to resume our voyage. The Stockholm was subsequently repaired and after further service with Sweden America Line, became the East German liner Volkerfreundschaft, finally finishing up as the Athena, which she is at present.
CAPTAIN D L RATTRAY, OBE
16 Cairnhill Road
Glasgow, G61 1AU
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