Jacob Maersk

Jacob Maersk
Dive Type
Dive Site
What you will see
Rock Formations, Sea Life, Wreck
Average Depth: 15mts
Maximum Depth: 17mts
Water Temperature: 14ºC-18ºC
Danish oil tanker built in 1966 and owned by Maerskline Navigation Company.
On January 29th, 1975, around 1pm, when on manoeuvres to moor on tanker's Terminal A at Leixões harbour, she suffers a huge explosion following with an intense fire and other explosions.
She was 261.81m long and displaced 48.262 tons. Her crew was made up of 32 persons, both men and women. 26 were saved, of which 4 were severe burned, 5 were missing and 1 drowned. The 5 missing crew members were machine engineers.
The tug "Monte da Luz" sailed close to the burning tanker and saved 17 crew members and the two port pilots.
The ship carried 88.000 tons of oil from Gulf Persic to Leixões, most consumed by fire. The fire last 3 days, with flames higher than 50m and the smoke reaching 750m.
Until 1996 this accident was on 12th place in the list of the biggest oil leaks worldwide.
The cause was, as always, human error. The ship broke in two. The stern sunk near the entrance of the harbour and the bow was thronged by the sea to shore where she stays, near Castelo do Queijo, for a few years.
The higher and biggest part of the stern section that sunk was later removed because she was a danger to other vessels that enter and leave Leixões harbour. Nowadays divers can find some burned metal sheets and oil tubes on a sandy seabed between 12 and 15m deep. It's possible to find losing lines and fishing nets near the wreck.
Spot description by Luis Mota