Reminded of a worldrenowned maritime disaster from an operation theatre in Norway

South Pacific Familyadventure 2008
Claes Brodin
Mon 3 Jul 2017 18:00
Being on call over the weekend doing surgery on a patient with small bowel obstruction my collegue anaesthetist made us all aware of the ship tied up to the docks of Hammerfest Port.
Her name is today M/S Astoria but she became worldrenowned under the name M/S Stockholm.
Belonging to the Swedish fleet of America Liners she was bound for Gothenburgh on the Swedish westcoast heading east a night in July 1956. Having recently departed New York the third officer on the bridge saw an echo on the radar heading west. Allthough during a nightwatch with good visibility the officer on whatch could not see the vessel coming on countercourse and thought it must be a fishingboat.
Onboard the Italian national pride M/S Andrea Doria (30,000tonner with over 1600 passengers) the officer on watch saw an echo on the radar but surrounded by fogpatches could not see Stockholm in reality. Thinking this was an easy case the officer on the bridge of Stockholm thought the meeting should be port side to port side and turned to starboard. On Andrea Doria the captain who was awake decided to turn to port and increase speed to pass aft of Stockholm. Coming closer Stockholm again turned to starboard and Andrea Dorea to port . The collision was now unavoidable and Stockholm ran her bow 12meters into the starboard side of Andrea Doria who immidiately started to take in loads of water tipping over.An eleven hour rescue mission followed before Andrea Doria finally disappeared from the surface.
Allthough with a severely damaged bow the crew of Stockholm launched all their lifeboats and managed to save 545 passangers from Andrea Doria,meanwhile the French ship Ile de France heading for Le Havre in France changed course and reached the scenery of disaster just in time to save over 700 passengers. Two U.S warships also reached Andrea Doria in time to rescue some more people. The whole rescue mission was successfully organised by the U.S coastguard and thanks to this "only" 51 people died.
14 year old Linda Morgan was found injured on the front deck of Stockholm. She was sleeping with her parents and sister when the bow of Stockholm crashed in to their cabinwall on Andrea Doria. Her father and sister died but Linda Morgan herself and mother survived.
In the hearing after the accident in U.S court captain Piero Calamai of Andrea Doria was blamed for not plotting the radarechoes of Stockholm,not keeping to rightsided traffic as is the rule at sea,and for running to fast under current conditions and the cause of the accident fell on the Italian ship. Later investigations though, have revealed that the third officer on watch onboard Stockholm had the radar set on the wrong scale misjudging the situation and never woke the captain up.
Today named Astoria former Stockholm is still a cruiseliner currently on her way to North Cape (the most northern point of Europe). She is registered in Portugal and sails for Cruise and Maritime Voyages.
Is it not fantastic what you can see from an operation theatre in Norway...........

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