As Stockholm and Andrea Doria were approaching each other head-on in the heavily used shipping corridor on the night of July 25, 1956, the westbound Andrea Doria had been traveling in heavy fog for hours. The captain had reduced speed slightly had activated the ship's fog warning whistle and had closed the watertight doors. However, the eastbound Stockholm had yet to enter what was apparently the edge of a fog bank, and was seemingly unaware of it and the movement of the other ship hidden within the fog. The waters of the North Atlantic south off Nantucket Island are frequently the site of intermittent fog, as the cold Labrador Current encounters the Gulf Stream. As the two ships approached each other at a combined speed of 40 knots, in failing light, each was aware of the presence of another ship, but guided only by radar, they apparently misinterpreted each other's course. No radio communication was made between the two ships at first. In the last moments before impact, Stockholm turned hard to starboard and was in the process of reversing her propellers, attempting to stop. Andrea Doria, remaining at her cruising speed of almost 22 knots engaged in a hard turn to port , her captain hoping to outrun the collision. Around 11:10 p.m., the two ships did collide, Stockholm striking the side of Andrea Doria. When Andrea Doria and Stockholm collided at almost a 90° angle, Stockholm's sharply raked ice breaking prow pierced Andrea Doria's starboard side about one-third of her length from the bow. It penetrated the hull to a depth of nearly 40 feet. Below the waterline, five fuel tanks on Andrea Doria's starboard side were torn open, and they filled with thousands of tons of seawater. Meanwhile, air was trapped in the five empty tanks on the port side, causing them to float more readily, contributing to a severe list. On the Andrea Doria, the decision to abandon ship was made within 30 minutes of impact. In the first hours after the collusion, many survivors transported by lifeboats from both ships were taken aboard Stockholm. Unlike the Titanic tragedy 44 years earlier, several other nonpassenger ships that heard Andrea Doria's SOS signal steamed as fast as they could, some eventually making it to the scene. In all, 1,663 passengers and crew had been rescued from Andrea Doria. The great ship sank 12 hours after the collusion; 52 killed by impact or drowned during rescue attempts. The collusion would most likely never have occurred if not for the dense fog back that the Andrea Doria, one of the largest ocean liners of the day had not been steaming through.
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