A New Jersey man who survived the Andrea Doria’s sinking in 1956 gave his life jacket to a local museum.
Alfonso Caliendo, an 83-year-old resident of Vernon, donated the orange jacket that saved his life 67 years ago to the Long Beach Island location of the New Jersey Maritime Museum.
“Everything was so black, I remember. Then, all of a sudden, boom, the life jacket pulled me up really fast, so I went up, and I started to swim,” Caliendo told NJ Advance Media.
Caliendo, a native of Naples, Italy, was his route to New York City to reunite with his parents, three sisters, and four brothers who had moved there three months earlier. He joined them in Brooklyn following the catastrophe, where he remained until 1962.
The expert painter also contributed letters, one of which was from a law office on his claim for damages and offered $200 for misplaced clothing and other possessions. Another came from the Stockholm’s operating company, Swedish American Line.
The passenger liner Stockholm and the Andrea Doria collided off the coast of Nantucket, Massachusetts, on their way to New York City. The collision resulted in the deaths of 46 people on board the Andrea Doria and 5 people on the Stockholm.