Richard Roose’s Fateful Descent into the Depths of Andrea Doria’s Shipwreck

Richard Roose’s Fateful Descent into the Depths of Andrea Doria’s Shipwreck
Incident LocationDiver Full Names
Andrea Doria Shipwreck, Atlantic Ocean, Latitude: 40° 29′ 30.0012″ N 
Longitude: -69° 50′ 60″ W
Richard Roose

The Andrea Doria shipwreck is a treasure diving site for many divers, as the allure of exploring the one-time luxurious Italian ship has enticed various enthusiasts. Is the China’s recovery worth risking one’s life? This is the story of Richard Roose’s exploration of the Andrea Doria wreck site.

The Once Upon a Time Italian Liner

Andrea Doria

Andrea Doria, a once upon a time Italian line ocean liner home-ported in Genoa, Italy, was launched on June 16, 1951. With its maiden voyage on January 14, 1953, the ship became a symbol of luxury. Named after Genoese Admiral Andrea Doria, it boasted a total registered tonnage of 29,100, accommodating about 1200 passengers and 500 crew members.

The Fatal Voyage

On Tuesday, July 17, 1956, Andrea Doria set sail from Genoa to New York City. The ship carried 1134 passengers and 572 crew members, making a total of 1706 aboard for this voyage. A collision with the Swedish passenger liner Stockholm occurred on July 25, 1956, resulting in the sinking of Andrea Doria.

The Tragedy Unfolds

The collision happened in heavy fog as the two ships, guided only by radar, became aware of each other’s presence too late to avoid disaster. Andrea Doria sank at 10:09 AM on July 26, 1956, leading to one of the largest maritime rescue operations in history.

Andrea Doria tragedy

Treasured Dive Site

Andrea Doria, due to its luxury and the valuables left in it, became a treasured dive site for many enthusiasts. Divers explored the wreck to recover items like auxiliary bells, China cups, and saucers. The wreck’s top initially lay at 160 feet of water.

Andrea Doria wreck

Exploration and Expeditions

Various expeditions, including one by Peter Gimble and Joseph Gox, aimed to locate and document the Andrea Doria wreck. The first Italian expedition marked the wreck with a bronze plaque, emphasizing the significance of their efforts.

Andrea Doria: The Everest of Scuba Diving

Often referred to as the Mount Everest of scuba diving, Andrea Doria poses challenges requiring skill and specialized equipment. Not for the inexperienced, its depth, water temperature, and currents demand mixed gases and stage decompression for a safe dive.

Richard Roose: The Diving Enthusiast

Richard Roose, a passionate diver since the late 1970s, became obsessed with diving after buying a scuba shop in 1985. Known for exploring Lake Huron’s shipwrecks, his fascination with diving led him to the Andrea Doria shipwreck.

Personal Background

Richard Roose, the youngest Eagle Scout in his district and a skilled archer, dedicated his life to his passions. His love for diving and exploration shaped his adult life, making him a well-known figure among divers in Michigan.

The Final Dive

On July 6, 1998, Richard Roose embarked on a 14-hour drive from Michigan to Eastern Long Island for his diving adventure to the Andrea Doria shipwreck. Excited about the exploration, he shared his plans with friends, exemplifying the camaraderie among diving enthusiasts.

Setting the Stage: Richard’s Preparation

Richard Roose, eager to embark on a unique diving adventure, chose the Seeker as his vessel. Armed with his diving gear and laptop computer, he meticulously constructed dive plans, considering gases, depth, and logistics. His dedication was evident with the presence of a toted color printer, showcasing his commitment to detail.

The Unveiling of a Passionate Plan

Delayed by weather conditions the previous year, Richard was now determined to dive into the Andrea Doria. With plans in hand, he eagerly shared his enthusiasm, stating, “When I dive the Doria, my life will be complete.” Nicknamed “The Scuba God,” his passion for this shipwreck was palpable.

Safety Briefing and First Dive

Captain Dan Crowell, addressing the divers on safety, emphasized familiarity with the Andrea Doria’s hull. An introductory swim along the Promenade deck was recommended. Richard, along with two other first-timers, made their initial dive. They returned shortly, and Richard refilled his scuba tanks for the next day’s exploration.

China Expedition: Recovering History

On the second day, Richard’s dive led him to the China closet in Andrea Doria, where he recovered first-class China. Excitedly, he shared his findings with Captain Crowell. Richard’s passion for exploring the ship’s windows and doorways was evident, showcasing his dedication to underwater discovery.

The Mysterious Disappearance

On July 8, 1998, Richard, diving with Steve Berman, disappeared. The crew noticed his overdue status, sparking concern. Despite efforts to locate him, including contacting nearby ships and the Coast Guard, Richard’s whereabouts remained unknown.

Intensive Search Operation

As concern escalated, a search operation was initiated. Volunteer divers joined the effort, with Captain Crowell coordinating a meticulous search inside the shipwreck. Speculation arose about Richard exploring the swimming pools, a popular spot for first-time divers.

Heartbreaking Discovery

The exhaustive search, spanning multiple dives, proved futile until John Moyer and Gary Gentile entered the Promenade deck. Tragically, they discovered Richard’s lifeless body wedged between tables at a depth of 210 feet, marking the end of a passionate diver’s journey.

Reflections on a Life Lost

The discovery raised questions about the worthiness of risking one’s life for the Andrea Doria. The video concludes with an invitation for viewers to share their thoughts on this profound and tragic diving expedition.

Before your next dive, consider insurance – it’s like having a dive buddy for unexpected challenges. Dive safe, dive covered. Explore options here


What is the Andrea Doria shipwreck?

The Andrea Doria was a luxurious Italian ocean liner that sank in 1956, now a renowned dive site.

Who is Richard Roose?

Richard Roose was a passionate diver who tragically lost his life exploring the Andrea Doria shipwreck.

Why is Andrea Doria considered challenging for divers?

Andrea Doria demands skills and specialized equipment due to its depth, currents, and water temperature.

Patrick Broin
Patrik, a seasoned cave diver, shares his first-hand experiences and expert insights on the treacherous world of cave diving accidents.
All diving accidents