The “Ana I” rescued the crew from the Greek “Aghios Nicolaos”

Ana I

Captain: José Maria de Matos
Type: Codfish Cuter
Tonnage: 191
Owner: Soc. de Pesca Luso-Brasileira Lda.

Homeport: Fugueira da Foz
Built: Solvesborg, Suécia (1918)
Event: Rescued 13 crew members from the Greek cargo ship Aghios Nicolaos

On October 7, 1940 the Portuguese codfish cuter "Ana I" was returning to Figueira da Foz from Newfoundland when, 150 miles from Cape Mondego, the crew spotted a lifeboat with 13 crew members from the Greek freighter "Aghios Nicolaos" sunk seven days earlier by the Italian submarine "Maggiore Baracca".

From the thirteen on board, ten were Greeks, one was Danish, another Hungarian and there was also a Portuguese crew-member. At arrival they told the portuguese press that there was no water and the food was scarce, putting them in a feverish condition besides the normal exhaustion after sitting all thosedays in the whaler. The second pilot was so delirious that had to be helped by the crew into the cuter.

On the 8th October the "Ana I" entered the port of Figueira and the following day the rescued travelled by train to Lisbon, where the Greek consul, Pappami Kail, and the doctor of the consulate, Dr. Evreniadis were expecting them.

On the evening of the same day other 13 shipwrecked from the “Aghios Nicolaos” entered the port of Leixões on board of the Spanish trawlers "Costas Maravilhas" and "Gistosa Chich", both with Vigo as home port. The thirteen survivors - among them was another Portuguese - had been picked that morning when the men aboard the fishing boats heading home, saw them waiving the hands in the lifeboat, 25 miles of Cape Mondego.

When they were picked up their provisions were scarce having only a couple slates of sardines, cookies and very few water with them. On board the rescue ships they received all assistance possible until they arrived in Leixões from where they were also sent to Lisbon, arriving in the morning of the 10th of October.

All were housed in Lisbon pensions and five Greeks from the first group were repatriated almost immediately aboard the freighter "Eleni".


The sinking of the "Aghios Nicolaos"

The sinking of the ship was reported to the newspapers in Lisbon by the Portuguesecrew-member Germano Fernandes, 32, a native from Madeira island. He had been hired days before the attack to complete the crew in a voyage to Belfast where they should deliver timber and ore loadedin Argentina.

On 1st October, 1940, at 4.20 am, they were stoped and questioned by officers of the Italian submarine "Maggiore Baracca", who demanded the Greek commander, Georgios Skinitis, to come on board with the cargo manifest. Shortly afterwards the crew of the freighter was warned that they had to abandon it because it would be sunk. The Greek captain never returned aboard and passed directly from the submarine to a lifeboat where 12 of the 26 crew members were already.

The lifeboat with Germano Fernandes had a hard fall into the water destroying the water barrel. From the other vessel a bucket of water was supplied, which soon exhausted.

The submarine fired more than thirty projectiles of cannon before being able to sink the now abandoned ship.

The lifeboats became separated shortly afterwards, both being found on 7th October, one by the Portuguese "Ana I" and the other by the two trawlers from Vigo "Costas Maravilhas" and "Gistosa Chich".

Aghios Nicolaos

Captain: Georgios Skinitis
Type: Cargo Ship
Tonnage: 3687
Owner: Hadjipateras J. & A.

Homeport: Piraeus
Built: Napier & Miller ldt, Glasgow (1915)
Fate: Sunk by Italian  submarine Maggiore Baracca in the Atlantic.


  • Archives: Hemeroteca de Lisboa (PT)
  • Sites:;;;
  • Books & Publications: Les Sous-marins Italiens en France : Grandeur et servitude italienne, Atlantique et océan Indien, 1940-1943 - Jean-Pierre Gillet;  Navios da Marinha Portuguesa, datas 1939 a 1945; Diário de Notícias;
  • People: Jorge Pereira;