The Andrea Doria shipwreck off Nantucket appears badly deteriorated, revealed sonar images collected during a new expedition.
The bow of the Italian ocean liner, which sank in 1956 after colliding with another ship, is nearly broken off, The Associated Press reported
. The damage was clear from sonar images captured by an underwater vessel manned by the Washington-based crew of OceanGate.
OceanGate's Stockton Rush said the shipwreck looks "dramatically different" than previous sonar images.
"When you look at the shape of the hull, it appears a lot has come off," he said, according to the AP.
Previous sonar images taken from the surface weren't as detailed.
Bad weather forced the crew to end the expedition early after completing two of eight planned decents to what divers call the "Mount Everest of Shipwrecks." OceanGate plans to return next year. Each dive with the Cyclops I lasted three hours. The vessel can accommodate up to five people.
The Cyclops I was co-piloted by Scott Parazynski, an astronaut who has flown five missions in space and climbed Mount Everest, National Geographic reported
It's a "huge bucket list thing," he said.
Patrick Scalli, who first explored the site in the 1970s and last dove there in the late 1990s, told The Boston Globe
that the promenade, back deck, and swimming pool he saw during his first dive are unrecognizable.
“The wreck is just a mess,” he said.
OceanGate's dive was the first submersible dive to the shipwreck in 20 years.
“When [the Andrea Doria] first went down, it was pristine and you went straight into the hull and through the windows,” Rush said, according to the Globe. “Now, it is harder to get inside and far more dangerous. Imagine it as a collapsing cave. Once the cave loses its basic structure, it deteriorates very quickly.”
The 1956 ocean collision killed 51 people, including 46 among the 1,700 aboard the Andrea Doria. The wreck has fascinated many divers around the world, and 16 divers have died exploring it, the AP said.
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