The Coast Guard has identified the latest diver to die while exploring the sunken wreckage of the Andrea Doria luxury liner off Nantucket.
The body of Bob Santulli, in his early to mid-30s, of Port Jefferson, N.Y., was recovered Tuesday, the latest on a list of more than a dozen adventurers who have died while diving more than 200 feet to what is considered the "Mount Everest of the diving world."Two divers died last year while exploring the wreck that claimed 52 lives when it sank in 1956. Some call the popular dive site a jinx.
The 697-foot Andrea Doria lies on its side in about 235 feet of water some 45 miles southeast of Nantucket. Fifty-two people died in 1956 when the Italian liner, with 1,600 people on board, sank after colliding with the Swedish liner Stockholm.
The Coast Guard said it was able to notify Santulli's family Tuesday night of his death. His body was expected to be turned over to the Suffolk County, N.Y., medical examiner's office in Hauppauge to determine the cause of death.
The Coast Guard said Santulli died apparently of oxygen poisoning brought about by making a second dive to the 200-plus-foot depth while using standard compressed air. Underwater experts said that under certain conditions the oxygen at that depth could become toxic.
Santulli was with another diver from the 60-foot Sea Hunter out of New York City when he ran into trouble late Monday. He panicked and ripped the breathing apparatus off his partner, and then sank out of sight. The other diver cleared the water from his own equipment and was forced to return to the surface.
Other divers from the Sea Hunter returned to the site Tuesday morning and recovered Santulli's body.