Tonnage: 6,062 / 9,450 dwt
Cargo: 500 tons of Tin, 2370 tons of Copper and 311 tos of Cobalt
Sunk: 4/Jan/1944 by USS Cruiser Omaha and Destroyer Jouett on position 06º 40’S 25º 39’W.
Rio Grande was intercepted when trying to evade the pursuit made by USS Omaha and USS Jouett which in one attempt to prevent the crew set the scuttling charges to ignite, used her automatic fire to force the Germans back aboard, but the explosives charges detonated. The lifeboat with the occupants set for the Brazilian coast some 540 miles off Recife.
The survivors were located by one Navy Blimp and USS Cruiser Marblehead rescued 72 survivors on position 07º 45’S 33º 00”W. Later on 11/Jan 22 survivors landed near Fortaleza and were taken into custody by 10th Brazilian Military region.
The wreckage lies at a depth of 5,762 metres, and was discovered on November 28 1996 using side-scanning sonar technology. Two days later the company responsible for the find, Blue Water Recoveries, confirmed the wreck using a remotely operated vehicle.
SS Rio Grande. Date and location unknown. Photo www.mentalfloss.com.uk