1956: SS Andrea Doria

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Having been abandoned by her passengers and crew, the crippled Italian passenger ship Andrea Doria lists sharply to her starboard side.
Corbis

On July 25, 1956, when Italian luxury liner SS Andrea Doria collided at a combined speed of 40 knots with the MS Stockholm in the fog-shrouded water of the North Atlantic near Nantucket Island, the collision had Titanic potential: The Andrea Doria was carrying 1,134 passengers and 572 crew when the Stockholm’s prow plowed through the ship’s starboard side at a 90-degree angle, piercing five tanks of fuel, which quickly filled with 500 tons of seawater.

As the ship listed, the lifeboats on the starboard side became too high to reach, but the passengers started to immediately evacuate to the nearby Stockholm and passing ships that heard the calls of distress and arrived to help. Eleven hours after the collision, the Andrea Doria sank, but only 46 lives were lost. One thousand, six hundred and sixty passengers and crew survived.

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