Friday, July 02, 2010

Jersey Divers Discover Historic Andrea Doria Bridge Bell

Very cool.

Two New Jersey divers sent waves throughout the wreck-diving community with the discovery of what is believed to the "bridge bell" from the historic shipwreck of the Andrea Doria, the luxury Italian ocean liner that sunk in 1956 off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts.

Ernest Rookey, of Jackson, and Carl Bayer, of Hillsborough, were part of an expedition team diving on the wreck when they made the find 240 feet below the ocean's surface. Both men were diving the Andrea Doria for the first time as last minute fill-ins on the expedition after two other crew members dropped out.

“All we hoped for was to get a little trinket to take home to remember our dive,” Rookey said. “I’m still stunned, the bell was totally unexpected. There’s just no way else to describe how we feel."

The bell, which weighs about 75lbs and stands two feet tall, is one of the few artifacts which has the ship’s name engraved on it.

“This is an incredibly significant find,” said expedition group leader, Joel Silverstein, of Arizona. “Think of it like finding a needle in a haystack.”

The last major discovery was made when the stern bell was discovered by a group led by Gary Gentile in 1985, according to Silverstein.

Continue reading...

Bookmark and Share

No comments: