NEW ORLEANS — Mark Koch made quite a traffic-stopping impression last May when he toured Lake Pontchartrain in his 23-foot long replica of the Titanic, marking 100 years since its ill fated voyage.
Inside Koch’s Metairie home is a shipwreck museum, but not of the Titanic. It’s of the Andrea Doria.
On July 25, 1956, the Swedish ocean liner Stockholm collided with the SS Andrea Doria off the northeast United States as it neared New York, with the Doria listing badly on its side.
Half of the ships 16 lifeboats were unusable and 51 people died, but the other eight lifeboats and a massive maritime rescue saved nearly 1,700 others.
“The sinking of the Andrea Doria is, as David Bright referred to it as, the Mt. Everest of shipwrecks,” he said. “So I’ve had the interest in the Andrea Doria since I was a young child.”
It’s been nearly 60 years since the Andrea Doria went down off the coast of New York, and today only two lifeboats exist.
Mark Koch owns both of them.