port, place of departure: Marina de Leixoes,
depth above the wreck: b/d,
depth at the bottom: 31 m,
level of diver training: advanced,
diving type: wreck,
diving period: whole year,
visibility max: 10 m,
water temperature: 14 - 19 °C,
available from: boat,
U1277 is a shipwreck of the German submarine located in north-west direction from Porto, which lies at a depth of 31 m. Diving site intendent for persons with advanced level of training. It is necessary to be particularly careful due to poor visibility. The boat was built and launched on May 3, 1944. The crew consisted of 45 men, aged between 18 and 25 years. This submarine was sunk on June 3, 1945 upon the Commander’s order. No fatalities were incurred, but the crew became prisoners of war of the British. The shipwreck lies on the sandy bottom. It is tilted in the position of 45 degrees, and its back is deep in the seabed.
The german u-boat 1277 was scuttled in 1945 inbound Oporto Portugal, lying at a depth accessible to the recreational diver.
Kriegsmarine Comander and crew where trained never to surrender, and on a scenario where they runed out of options all the equipment should be destroyed or unable to be used by their enemies, including the enigma machine, their criptographic very own machine.
This u-boat was launched for it´s base in Norway, Bremen on a “suicide mission”; to patrol the english channel. A few days after it´s departure, the comander received a message to all wolfpacks (submarines) should submerge with a black flag hoisted, simbol of surrender. The commander considered his options, and due to fuel limitations, he´s choice turned to Portugal a country during WWII considered neutral.
Therefore on the 3rd of July 1945, 2 miles offshore Oporto, he ordered the submarine to be scuttled and all the crew was set on liferafts returning to shore where they were helped by local fishermen. However the alie forces got them prisioners on a fort close by and afterwards were sent to a POW camp in north africa. On late 70´s the fishermen got the location of the u-boat since it was a spot where they got their nets stuck. It´s lying on it´s left side with a 45º, oriented North South, and filled with sand as a result of the scutle operation. It still has 14 torpedoes inside and fortunatly wreck penetration isn´t possible. Most of the structure is possible to see as well as two torpedo tubes; all the external was removed.
Considering the sandy bottom and the spot where it lies, the average visibility is 5m, and during several days of the year reduced. For diving there, forecasts no wider than 3 days ahead can be accurate; very few days a year you can have 10-15m visibility there. Since it has a lot of ghost nets, adding to the poor visibility in most days of the year, it should be a spot for experienced divers, not just the regular “Advanced” scuba diver.
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