Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Andrea Doria Claims Another Life

The wreck of the ocean liner Andrea Doria, which had already claimed the lives of at least 11 divers since it sank off Nantucket 50 years ago, has added another to its tally. David Bright, 49, of Flemington, N.J., who has written and lectured about the shipwreck extensively and appeared in numerous documentaries, collapsed after completing a dive on the Doria. The wreck, which lies in 240 feet of water, remains a magnet for advanced divers from around the world who charter boats leaving from Montauk and ports along the South Shore. Bright was the founder of the Andrea Doria Survivor Reunions Committee, which brings together survivors and their families. He was slated to be a key participant in this year's reunion July 23 at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy in Kings Point.
Andrea Doria
According to Coast Guard Petty Officer Luke Pinneo in Boston, "He was diving and had resurfaced. Shortly after returning onboard, he went into cardiac arrest and CPR was administered by the crew" of the vessel, which is named Sirena. A Coast Guard helicopter hoisted Bright aboard and transferred him to shore, where he was pronounced dead at Cape Cod Hospital in Hyannis. Bright founded the Nautical Research Group in 2003 and served as its president. He has established the Andrea Doria Museum Project, which loans artifacts from the Andrea Doria to museums for display. Kevin McMurray, author of "Deep Descent," a book about diving on the Doria, said, "David was good for the dive community. He was well-known and well-liked and respected." The Andrea Doria sank July 25, 1956 after colliding on a foggy night with the Swedish liner Stockholm. Its wreck is considered the Mount Everest for divers, who breathe a mixture of gases to cope with the depth.

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