The Parnaioca Operation

Foto: Clécio Mayrink

As the years passed and for many reasons, several ships that sunk off the brazilian coast “lose” his original identitys e therefore are renamed according to the wreckage or the place where it lies. A good example is the Parnaioca wreckage in Ilha Grande. He received the nomination because it sunk on the Parnaioca point – Ponta Alta da Parnaioca.

The real identity of this ship is still a mistery. Some people say, without any means to prove, that this ship is the Japurá, sunk in 1897 in the area of Ilha Grande. Comments about the real identity of this ship are common on the dive boats that visit the place. The divers who visit the place believe that the wreckage seems to be of a ship from most recent time then when the Japurá sink. So, as we dont have any informations about the real name of the ship, we will use the common sense and call this shipwreck the “Parnaioca”.

A visit to the “Parnaioca” demands extra planning due to distance from the regular dive points of Ilha Grande and thre´s also the problem of the bad weather that appears in the area. The better idea is to gather a few friends and schedule the trip, always paying attention to the weather conditions.

In July, 2002 a great group of wreckdivers of the Brasil Mergulho team, schedule a great dive operation on the shipwreck. The dive shop Projeto Mergulhar provide us with our needs. The forecast for Saturday was great, with good sea conditions, what we soon saw in the morning before the dive. The long time navigation to the dive point was very cheerful and thesea was like a calm pool. As great part of team was of technical divers, our intention was going to the deepest part of the wreckage at 35 meters. In a previous dive, we found a great structure a few meters in the front of the bow e we want to go back to give a better look in it.

Another aspect of this dive is a discussion about the bow of the ship. Some say that it is separated from the rest of the hull but it it not true. As we see in this dive, the beautiful bow, are in its “right” place. When we start the dive, we figured that that was not a regular weekend !   The diving conditions was excellent !

The great visibility allow us to see some new areas that we do not see in previous area and the moviment of the wreckage open big new areas for penetrations at 27 to 30 meters. Heading to the bottom, we arrived at the bow and it could be easily identify beacuse of the capsizedposition of the wreckage. The bow is a great vision for a wreck diver. At a few meters from the bow we found a small part of the bow with a capstan and some cables. The “Parnaioca” have a multi level profile that make the dive more easy.

Still are many thing to be seen such as masts, whinchs, capstans, the capsized hull and many others things. The “Parnaioca” is a great option for recreational and technicals divers. The structure that we are looking for wasn´t localized and it will the aim of our next visit. At the end of the dive ,every body was impressed with the size of the ship!It is really huge !   Unfortunately this great diving conditions it is not usual on that area and this don´t allow to all divers that visit the place to see this wreck like it really are.

Divers on this operation: Antonio Massud, Carlos Bersan, Clarice, Clécio Mayrink, Lelis, Paulo Tessarollo, Sérgio Amorim, Roberto da Luz (Bob Light), Rodrigo Coluccini and Zé Luís.

Rodrigo Coluccini
Criador e proprietário da Revista Deco Stop, foi um dos responsáveis pela divulgação em larga escala das informações sobre naufrágios no litoral brasileiro, fato antes restrito a poucos. É co-autor do manual de naufrágios da certificadora PDIC. Seu trabalho é citado em vários livros atuais sobre história maritima brasileira confirmando a importância de seu trabalho.