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The Coimbra Shipwreck  New York and New Jersey's (Wreck Valley)
Historical and current New York and New Jersey Shipwreck Information and images for scuba divers and fisherman.
 
COIMBRA

The Coimbra was built by the Howaldj  Swerke Co., of Kiel, Germany, in 1937. She was a tanker owned by the Socony Vacuum Oil Co., Ltd., of Great Britain. She was 423 feet long, had a60 foot beam, displaced 6,768 gross and 3,976 net tons.

At 3:00 AM, January15, 1942, on a foggy morning, a torpedo fired from the U-123 hit her amidships, exploding her cargo of 81,000 barrels of fuel oil into flames. A second series of explosions ripped the Coimbra into three sections before sending her to the bottom. Captain J.P. Barnard, and 34 crew members were killed during the initial explosions and resulting fires. Only six people survived. The NEW YORK TIMES reported with headlines "New U-Boat Victim Confirmed By Navy ". The Coimbra was World War II's second U-Boat sinking off the eastern seaboard.



Today, the Coimbra still lies in the three sections she was blown into. Her bow is facing east, mid section is leaning to port and her stern rests on its side. The wreck is located 64 miles southeast of Jones Inlet and 78 miles from Manasquan Inlet in180 to 190 feet of water. The Coimbra has also created some controversy. Even though the U.S. government has inspected the wreck and issued a report that the oil left on Coimbra presents no pollution threat to U.S. shores, others believe differently. In fact, one article about the site reports that there could be as much as 28,500 barrels of lube oil remaining on the wreck. When I first journeyed to this wreck aboard the R.V. Wahoo, we couldn't help to notice the oil slick still hovering over the wreck. The oil is slowly escaping, but over a period of years as her metal decays, this sunken tanker and others like her could cause our beaches to be covered in oil. Even with oil leaking from her hull, I was amazed at the water clarity on this site. We reached her hull at165 feet and peered over her side to see a row of portholes in the sand in 187 feet. The sand is clean and white, and the marine life over and around the wreck abounds. Remember penetration into any shipwreck should only be done by those with proper training, experience and wreck diving equipment.

 

Coimbra Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Capt. Dan Berg with a porthole recovered from the Coimbra Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Divers from the Wahoo with artifacts from the Coimbra Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Helm from the Coimbra Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Keith W with telegraph from the Coimbra Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

Coimbra Wreck. Photo courtesy Dan Berg Wreck Valley Collection.

 
   

 

 

 

 
 

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