Dangers of diving at famous shipwreck

By Brian Crandall - Turn to 10

A total of 46 people died when the Italian luxury liner Andrea Doria collided with another ship off Nantucket 55 years ago this week.

Just a day before Monday's anniversary, a diver died while exploring the wreck. Sixteen divers have lost their lives at the site.

NBC 10 talked to dive expert Michael Lombardi, the diving safety officer at the University of Rhode Island, about the dangers of diving at the Andrea Doria site.

"It's deep, dark, and cold. It's also covered with fishing nets, trawl lines, fishing lines. So there are lots of entanglement hazards. The currents are also extremely strong out there," Lombardi said.

Lombardi said he believes many divers who visit the site are not qualified to do so.

Lombardi has been diving all over the world, to much greater depths than the Doria, but he has not gone to the Dorea site.

"If you have a need to go to a place like that, then you go. I think, unfortunately now, people are seeking adventure, seeking a thrill. The Doria's been considered analogous to Everest for mountain climbers. So, it's kind of like the conquest in diving. And to me, you can't justify putting your life on the line for a conquest," Lombardi said.

Another diver died Thursday near a different shipwreck off Montauk, N.Y. He was reportedly diving off the same charter boat that the Andrea Doria victim was diving from on Sunday.

Andrea Doria Nantucket University of Rhode Island Michael Lombardi Montauk