Local Divers Report on their Recent Andrea Doria Adventure!

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Posted by Ax on July 09, 2010 at 21:29:48:

If you’ve been reading the SCUBA boards or other online news sources lately, you may have heard about the recent recovery of one of the bronze bells on the SS Andrea Doria, the famed Italian ocean liner that sunk off the coast of Massachusetts in 1956. Well, three Dive N Surf staff members – Assistant Instructor Laila Richard and Divemasters Kathy Mallon and Chris Gini – were on board the dive boat that recovered the bell last month.

On Wednesday night, July 21, Laila, Kathy, and Chris will share at the Dive N Surf dive team meeting pictures and stories from their amazing dives on the Andrea Doria. The team will describe the training they endured to prepare for their two days of diving on this world-class wreck and share what diving on a 637-foot, 29,100-ton ocean liner is really like. As Laila says, “It’s longer than two football fields -- crazy big shipwreck!!!”

The SS Andrea Doria sunk on July 26, 1956, after it collided in heavy fog with a small passenger liner, the MS Stockholm. The Stockholm gouged a hole in the Andrea Doria, sinking it nearly 11 hours later. More than 1,600 passengers and crew were saved but 46 people died in the accident. The wreck now lies 90 miles offshore at a depth of about 200 feet. The remote location of the shipwreck plus heavy currents and fog common in the area make this one of the most challenging dive sites in the world. To read more about the Andrea Doria and the important discovery of the bronze bell, go to:

In addition to the Andrea Doria presentation, Long Beach Aquarium Dive Team Leader and Dive N Surf Instructor Gary Sterling will discuss local volunteer dive opportunities that you can get involved in this summer. These include diving in the exhibits at the Long Beach Aquarium, working with Reef Check California, and other scientific diving opportunities. Learn how to get involved in these rewarding dives that are supported through grants and donations.

The dive team meeting will be held at Lou-E-Luey's Banquet Hall on the International Boardwalk in Redondo Beach, between Naja's Bar and Delzano's restaurant -- and just across from the Pacific Star dive boat. Park in the Redondo Beach Marina lot (enter on Harbor Drive across from Gold's Gym). Parking validation is available. Admission to the meeting is $11, and includes a taco bar buffet dinner. Check-in begins at 6:15 p.m., dinner at 7 p.m., and the presentations start at 7:15 p.m. A cash bar will be open for beverage purchases.

This event is open to the public. Everyone attending receives a free raffle ticket for Dive N' Surf door prizes. A second, $2 raffle will be held for a great SCUBA prize.

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