What you will see
Sandy bottom, Sea Life, Wreck
The "Brenha" was a trawl fishing vessel. Built-in 1969, it was 32 meters long, 7.22 meters wide and 3.55 meters high.
He left Leixões at about 11 pm on January 3, 1996, heading north with a crew of 15 men, including João Rebelo da Silva (master) and José Americano (driver). All lived in the municipality of Matosinhos with the exception of one who lived in Póvoa do Varzim.
Minutes after leaving the sheltered port, he collided with the Guilhada rock off Mindelo and broke open in the hull. Although the weather conditions are not the most favourable, because besides being night, it was strong wind and raining heavily, and the state of the stormy sea, the cause of this wreck is probably due to human error.
Immediately the master reversed to remove the vessel from that spot and to take it out to sea. It was one of the manoeuvres that saved these men, for the strong undulation would push the trawler against the rocks. Three "very lights" were released and an SOS radio broadcast. It was 11:30 pm
Came to his aid the motor "The Desterrado", with the master David Leocadio at the helm, that almost at the entrance of the port of Leixões turned and, against the weather, sailed to meet the trawler. When he found it, the "Brenha" was already full of water. There was not much else to do but collect the crew and return to Leixões.
It was wrecked approximately half a mile from the earth, around 12:30 am on the 4th. It was found by our Instructor Delfim Trancoso and António Carvalho on June 27, 1999 with the help of fishermen from Vila Chã.
It is 27 meters deep, on a sandy bottom with its keel embedded in a rock, lying on the starboard with an east-west orientation. When we started diving in this wreck, only the hull was intact, as it gave the idea that the boat would have somersaulted over the seabed until it was locked by a rock. The masts and antennas were gone, and the wheelhouse bridge was completely crumpled, as if it had been shod. In 2003 we found that the bridge's structure had been torn off, quite possibly by force of the sea, with a hole giving access to the interior. During the winter of 2005/2006, the sea opened almost the entire hull, leaving only the stern of the ship with its huge propeller intact. The rest of the hull opened as if a bomb had been set inside and detonated. Divers can see the engine block with the valves perfectly insight, and the bow section has almost completely disappeared, lying nearby in scattered pieces across the bottom.
Attention must be paid to the presence of ghost nets near the wreck. Despite being a relatively recent wreck, marine life has already begun to occupy its space, turning into what was once a fishing vessel on an artificial reef.
-- Spot description by Luis Mota
-- Photos by Albano Mesquita and Ana Ferreira