Sunday, January 10, 2010

Dr. Sinness at Sea

It was a beautiful ship; it made regular journeys between New York and Europe. Based in Genoa, she was of Italian descent and was named the Andrea Doria. At the end of a long journey, on July 25, 1956 most of the passengers were in bed. In the morning they would pull into the New York Harbor, disembark, and many would begin their new life in America. However, shortly after 11:00 p.m. the Andrea Doria was struck in a vulnerable spot by the MV Stockholm ocean liner. Chaos erupted, lives were lost, the ship began to sink. Another ship, the Ile de France, had left New York that morning. On that ship was one of my relatives, Dr. Lester Sinness, his wife and teen-aged son, Skip. Lester (who was my first cousin once-removed) was a senior Vice President for DuPont and was on his way to Europe. Their first night at sea, Lester realized the ship had stopped. He went on deck and discovered that the Ile de France was taking on many of the survivors of the Andrea Doria. There is some fascinating family history connected with this event. You can read Lester's account of his experiences at Years ago I had seen this letter my cousin wrote, but never looked into the full story. This past week, in a hotel room in Dallas, while flipping through the TV channels I came across a documentary about the Andrea Doria tragedy and remembered the article I had read many years before. Many years later Lester came back to Devils Lake, where, about six year ago, he died. His only child, Skip, lives in Colorado. A few years ago I met Skip. I wish at that time I had thought to ask him about his experience aboard the Ile de France when they saw the Andrea Doria sinking at sea. Pretty cool stuff to know about....

No comments:

Post a Comment