16th diver claimed by the Andrea Doria!


Just as my spirits were lifting from the sad Andrea Doria anniversary, I found out from diver Evelyn Dudas that “The Mont Everest of the Sea” has claimed its 16th diver! Michael LaPrade of Los Angeles was only 27 years old. What a tragedy! http://easthampton.patch.com/a?rticles/cops-investigating-div?ers-death-just-shy-of-55th-ann?iversary-of-andrea-doria-wreck

The treacherous waters  45 miles south of Nantucket do not let us forget  that there is no room for  mistakes– whether from  uncontrollable circumstances or  negligence. In Mr. LaPrade’s case  no details have been established.  In any case, we honor  his courage  to explore  civilization’s time capsules of the sea.

My deepest condolences to the family.

Posted in Andrea Doria, Serving our Seas | Tagged , , , | 9 Comments

9 Responses to 16th diver claimed by the Andrea Doria!

  1. Jolene Baker says:

    I just wanted to thank you for your kind words about Michael LaPrade. His parents work with our hospital, and I am sure would appreciate your comments.

    • pierette says:

      It’s a very small gesture but I hope they are helpful to his parents. I appreciate you writing this message to me. When you feel it’s appropriate, I would like to speak with the parents and ask them about Michael’s passion for diving the Grande Dame of the Sea. I am passionate about her too.
      thank you!

  2. Paul LaPrade says:

    I am Michael LaPrade’ s father. Our hearts are broken . Although he lived only 27 years, he truly had a great life.

    • pierette says:

      Dear Mr. LaPrade,

      I am so sorry for your loss! I can’t even imagine how difficult it must be to lose I young son with so much enthusiasm for exploration. Although your message saddened me, as I felt your loss, I was glad to hear that he lived a great life.

      I will be including an article about him in my newsletter. Moreover, I would like to include something more personal about his life. If you would like to share a little bit about him, I will be happy to publish it.

      To see the newsletter you can subscribe on my website. (If you don’t wish to continue receiving it, you can then unsubscribe.)

      Please extend my sympathy to your family.


      • Paul LaPrade says:

        Mike LaPrade was 27, our oldest son. It’s a heartbreak like no other. #2 son, Matt, 25 is an army paratrooper, soon to be in law school. #3 son, Brandon, 24, is a medical student. #4 son, Zachary, 20, is a college student at Oregon. Alex was the love of his life and I’m sure they would marry. Of the 4 boys, Mike was the biggest, most dominant, most outgoing and friendly. A Michael LaPrade quote, “I like everyone”. And everyone liked him. Mike was an excellent athlete , and had more friends than anyone I ever heard of. (1045 facebook friends!?). He was quite a good athlete and a big guy: football, hockey and lacrosse in high school. He took each sport as far as he could, with weight training, camps etc until he knew he couldn’t get any better. In college, Bentley in Boston, he played every football game all 4 years, despite 3 knee operations. We (his parents), never missed a game, despite the 3000mile trip. He began diving at age 15 and never looked back. His certifications include lots of trimix, deep dive, wreck training, more certification cards that I can remember. He loved doing deep wreck dives with his west coast technical dives friends than anything. I believe my son Mike had fun every day of his life. An indifferent student, he never wasted time studing if something more exciting was possible. He would make his living with his personality, working sales in his uncle’s toy import business. He loved it. Every dollar spent on scuba gear and adventures. Once he had the skills , I suppose diving the Andrea Doria was inevitable. We spoke of it several times, and I didn’t like it at all. It really bothered me because of horrrible risks. But Mike was 27, a man on his own, not his 20 yo bro. Our family is struggling with this heartbreak. We are consoled to a degree because Mike had a great life, full of fun and adventure. He died doing what he loved best, deep wreck diving. 500 people attended his funeral in Phoenix, including diving friends from the west coast, football friends from Boston, a friend from China and a friend from London(Mike saved him from a few “scrapes” in college). call me if you wish, 602-689-1114. His mother and I are just trying to survive, Paul LaPrade

        • Steve Brown says:

          Dear Paul

          I am the father of Julie Brown Anderson. Julie was on the dive with Mike. She like you is heartbroken. Julie met LaPrade (her nickname because there were multiple Mike’s) several years ago when she worked in San Diego. The dove together almost every weekend. Julie loved Mike and said he was like a brother to her. As parents, we too were anxious about this dive, but like you we recognize that our children are adults who must make their own decisions. They have a passion for life and diving is something that makes them happy. Michael was everything you described in your email. He was also one of those very special people who have the courage and the confidence to be explorers. Our condolences go out to your family. Steve and Laura Brown

          • pierette says:

            Thank you for writing, Mr. Brown. I’m sure your message is appreciated by the family.
            I’m sorry that Julie lost her dear friend Michael.

  3. pierette says:

    Dear Paul,
    Thank you so much for sharing facts about Michael’s background and how he lived life. In Michael’s memory I will include your letter in my August newsletter, SOS: Survival on Our Seas.
    You and your family are in my thoughts and prayers.

  4. Paul LaPrade says:

    I met your daughter Julie at our home in Arizona. Julie and many of the west coast technical divers came to Mike’s service. Our family thanks them all.

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