|Empress of I|
Another point is that the Stockholm's officer of the watch, outbound from New York and experienced on this route, was expecting incoming craft to run very close to the Nantucket light which he believed was well to the North of him. Seeing a radar-blip representing a ship very fine on the bows, his brain said "must be on the port bow" and it was hard to shake that conviction when the Andrea Doria burst out of the fog bank. His reaction was turn right, which was, in addition, the correct Rule-at-Sea where ships pass port-side to port-side and turn right away from each other. But this was turning into the path of the oncoming liner.
The Doria's helmsman seeing disaster approaching instinctively shied away from the source of danger but, if the Nordling diagram above is close to correct, it was too late and his ship was whacked just behind the bow and tin-opened from main-deck to waterline. The damage was thus similar to that sustained by the Empress in 1914 but coming in from the Ocean and in fog the Doria's water-tight doors were all closed according to regulations. Nevertheless the ship heeled to starboard and started to settle. That meant that half the life-boats were unavailable for normal loading when the Italian captain ordered Abandon Ship. Nevertheless, the first three life-boats which rowed from the stricken ship towards the comparative safety of the Stockholm were heavy with crewmen and very light on passengers, let alone women-and-children. The crew of the Stockholm accordingly took time off from saving their own ship and picking up survivors to duff up their fellow sailors who had abandoned their duty. That might remind you of the Costa Concordia which ran aground and tipped over in Jan 2012. It was said at the time that Captain Francesco Schettino was the first off that stricken ship to "go and seek help". Not the done thing in my father's book. The crew of the Stockholm then went back to saving a final tally of 570.