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Fatal Depth: Deep Sea Diving, China Fever and the Wreck of the "Andrea Doria"

Fatal Depth: Deep Sea Diving, China Fever and the Wreck of the "Andrea Doria"

Paperback

By (author) Joseph Haberstroh

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  • Publisher: The Lyons Press
  • Format: Paperback | 272 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 20mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 1 August 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Guilford
  • ISBN 10: 1592283047
  • ISBN 13: 9781592283040
  • Edition: New edition
  • Edition statement: New edition
  • Illustrations note: Illustrations (some col.)
  • Sales rank: 180,151

Product description

At 11:10 p.m. on July 25, 1956, the luxurious Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria collided with the Stockholm forty-five miles south of Nantucket. Half a century later, the wreck of the Andrea Doria is still claiming lives. Professional and amateur divers the world round consider the Andrea Doria to be the Everest of diving. At 225 feet below the surface, the wreck lies at the very edge of human endurance and accomplishment; ordinary air becomes toxic and the divers who go there suffer nitrogen narcosis or "the rapture of the deep." Symptoms include confusion, lack of coordination, and perhaps most deadly of all, a loss of the ability to make clear decisions. As a result, divers use Trimix, an exotic blend of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium to descend through the strong currents, rusted metal, and twisted wires to the ultimate symbol of deep sea diving accomplishments: china teacups and plates from the wreck of the Andrea Doria. For serious wreck divers, these fragile artifacts are genuine proof of their abilities as divers. During the summers of 1998 and 1999, three elite divers lost their lives, all on separate dives from the top dive boat out of Montauk, the 65-foot Seeker. Craig Sicola was clearly suffering from "china fever" before he went down. He'd handled teacups brought up by veteran Doria diver Gary Gentile, and the gleam in Craig's eye was unmistakable. Craig dove on June 24, 1998. A few hours later, his body bobbed to the surface. He was carrying a plate. Joe Haberstroh, the award-winning Newsday reporter, watched events unfold during the summers of 1998 and 1999. In this remarkable and intriguing book he recreates what was the pride of the Italian fleet, how it sank, the dangers of the deep, and the gripping personal stories of the men who live or die for a teacup from its remains.

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Author information

Joe Haberstroh is the "On the Waters" columnist for Long Island's Newsday. In 1997, he won a Pulitzer Prize for coverage of the crash of TWA flight 800.

Review quote

"A gripping true story of treasure hunting and tragedy on the Doria, the world's most dangerous shipwreck."--Daily News "Should be required reading for all divers."--Immersed "Well researched, well interviewed, and written without frills. It doesn't need frills. Wreck diving is already on the edge, an extreme sport with virtually no margin for error. Drama is built in."--National Geographic Adventure "[This is] a well-narrated tale. Haberstroh does a deft job of laying out the character and motivations of five ill-fated divers and their guide...And Haberstroh's restraint serves him well, giving the book a fully informed breadth . . . a solid, intriguing contribution to the genre." --Seattle Times and Post Intelligencer "Haberstroh gives about as close a look at the world below that you'll get without strapping on a set of steel 120s."--St. Petersburg Times "An extremely well-researched and fast-paced book."--East Hampton Star

Back cover copy

At 11:10 p.m. on July 25, 1956, the luxurious Italian ocean liner Andrea Doria collided with the Stockholm forty-five miles south of Nantucket. Half a century later the wreck of the Andrea Doria is still claiming lives. Professional and amateur divers the world over consider the Andrea Doria to be the Everest of diving. At 225 feet below the surface, the wreck lies at the very edge of human endurance and accomplishment; ordinary air becomes toxic, and the divers who go there suffer nitrogen narcosis or "the rapture of the deep." Symptoms include confusion, lack of coordination, and perhaps most deadly of all, a loss of the ability to make clear decisions. As a result, divers use Trimix, an exotic blend of oxygen, nitrogen, and helium to descend through the strong currents, rusted metal, and twisted wires to the ultimate symbol of deep sea diving accomplishments: china teacups and plates from the wreck of the Andrea Doria. For serious wreck divers, these fragile artifacts are genuine proof of their abilities. During the summers of 1998 and 1999, three elite divers lost their lives, all on separate dives from the top dive boat out of Montauk, the sixty-five-foot Seeker. Craig Sicola was clearly suffering from "china fever" before he went down. He'd handled teacups brought up by veteran Doria diver Gary Gentile, and the gleam in Craig's eye was unmistakable. Craig dove on June 24, 1998. A few hours later his body bobbed to the surface. He was carrying a plate. Joe Haberstroh, the award-winning Newsday reporter, watched events unfold during the summers of 1998 and 1999. In this remarkable and intriguing book he recreates what was the pride of the Italian fleet, how it sank, the dangers of the deep, and the gripping personal stories of the men who live or die for a teacup from its remains.