SS Kassamba

SS Kassamba
SS Kassamba
SS Kassamba
SS Kassamba
Dive Type
Dive Site
What you will see
Flora, Sea Life, Wreck
Average Depth: 70mts
Maximum Depth: 75mts
Water Temperature: 14ºC-18ºC
Cargo vessel from Angola built in 1977. She was 136m long and 8.374 tons gross.
She was carrying 158 containers, most with cloth tissue and wine. Some say that she was carrying guns to Angola too.
She was homeward bound to Luanda and Lobito (Angola) from Cadiz (Spain) with scale in Leixões. "Kassamba" leaves Leixões on March 25th, 1985, at 09.45pm.
The sea was rough and made the containers roll. They must had been badly stowed and made a hole in the ship's hull.
The ship sends their first SOS at 10.20pm when she was only a mile out from port.
The rescue was made by two tugboats and "Patrao Joaquim Casaca" rescue boat.
They had orders to tow "Kassamba" to high sea, because she was huge and if she sunk near shore, she will became a danger to other vessels.
The rescue boat was with "Kassamba" all night and picked up 29 members of the crew early in the morning. By then "Kassamba" was already laid about 45º to her portside. The last 2 crew members were picked up by "Monte de Leça" tugboat.
The crew was composed by 31 men, 24 from Angola and 7 from Yugoslavia. Among the Yugoslavians was Giorgio Ribanic, 53 years old, captain, Moreno Ipavic, 26 years old, first subordinate officer and Niksa Banovac, 26 years old, second subordinate officer.
At the time someone faced the possibility to save the ship, but due sea and weather conditions the vessel was already doomed and starts slowly sinking by her own damage.
"Kassamba" sunk on March 26th, 1985, around 03.15 pm, 11 miles northwest out of Leixões.
She lies since then on her port side, pointing northwest, on a sandy seabed at 70m deep. Divers reach the wreck at 55m.
In summer time, the waters are clear, with visibility reaching 30m. The wreck is in good conditions with her cargo hull open and no containers on board. They fell overboard at the surface due to ship's conditions, and the remaining went off when she sinks.
It's possible to find lost lines and fishing nets near the wreck.
Spot description by Luis Mota