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The SS Hildebrand is a shipwreck of an English ship that on September 25, 1957, during a night of calm and dense fog, ended up overlying the land too much and stranded in front of the Fort of S. João de Oitavos due to an error of navigation. It was a mixed cargo and passenger ship, launched into the sea at Liverpool in 1951. At the time, it was making one of its usual journeys with stopover in Lisbon to disembark 17 of the 164 passengers it carried on board. It linked European ports to the main cities on the Northeast coast of South America.

The force of the sea quickly broke it in two parts and then completely undid it, spreading its wreckage all around. Today, diving in the Hildebrand is not like diving into a "said" shipwreck where we can appreciate a whole structure and forms of a ship, but more of a dip in the middle of scattered debris, in a low depth zone where the sea is usually very beaten. There are, however, two structural parts of the ship separated by about 80 meters of enough dimensions and cuts for divers to see that it is indeed a shipwreck. These parts are themselves part of the hull, with large plates, bulkheads, caves and some hatches. It is usually in one of these two locations (Hildebrand 1 & 2) where the dives begin. The inner structural parts and all the plates that create conditions for natural shelters are usually the most frequented by some species of marine organisms, such as fish and crustaceans.

The bottom is a mixture of rock and sand, predominating more sand towards the sea. The parts closer to land are more rocky and more rugged with huge holes and crevices. Closer to land there are some great clearings of sand where divers can find other vestiges of the ship.


Diving profileSS Hildebrand

  • Level: Intermmediate
  • Depth: 5m - 12m
  • Seabed: Rock and sand
  • Average water Temperature: -
  • Visibility: Medium
  • Best season for diving: Spring / Summer (lower swells) 
  • Closest hyperbaric chamber: -