Malta – Wreck diving heaven

//Malta – Wreck diving heaven

Malta’s rich history and location has made it one of the best destinations for wreck diving, with World War II-era planes and ships that were lost in combat.

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Diving

Wreck diving sites are in different locations around the archipelago. Some that are accessible from shore, and some are only accessible from a boat. Of course, some of the best wrecks are difficult for beginners, but there are also a lot of easier wrecks as well as dive shops that provide courses with certifications.

The life on the reefs is typically Mediterranean, and there isn’t much in the way of the unusual – diving here is all about the great wrecks.

It is difficult to choose the one best wreck out of the great variety of them in Malta, so here a list of some that are especially popular:

HMS Stubborn

Located off Qawra Point

Depth: 56m/183ft

The HMS Stubborn was a 66m/216ft-long S-class submarine built by Cammell Laird of Birkenhead that was launched on November 11, 1942. She served extensively in the North Atlantic during WWII. In 1945 she was moved to the Mediterranean and was scuttled after being hit by a depth charge and losing her tail fin. Today, the wreck is in good condition. Some hatchways are open, but are very small in terms of divers penetrating the wreck.

Blenheim Bomber

Located off Xrobb l-Ghagin

Depth: 42m/137ft

This is a WWII aircraft that provides a great dive for more experienced divers. On December 13, 1941, the Blenheim was sent out on a bombing raid, but was attacked by enemy aircraft. Today, the bomber lies upright on a sandy bottom with the wings and fuselage still intact and the starboard engine’s propellers still in place.

Imperial Eagle

Located off Qawra Point

Depth: 42m/137ft

The Imperial Eagle was built by J. Crown & Sons in Sunderland, England. When it was first launched in 1938, it was named the New Royal Lady. Starting in 1948, she was known as the Crested Eagle, and was finally renamed the Imperial Eagle in 1958. She was scuttled in 1999 and now lies upright not far from the shore. En route to the wreck in an underwater valley, a famous statue of Christ can also be seen.

Um El Faroud

Located off Wied Iz-Zurrieq

Depth: 34m/111ft

The Libyan oil tanker Um El Faroud was built in 1969 and operated between Italy and Libya. In 1995 while the ship was in a Valletta dry dock, an explosion occurred in one of the fuel tanks during maintenance work, tragically killing nine shipyard workers.

On September 2, 1998, she was scuttled to provide an artificial reef and today, the wreck lies upright, close to the shore entry point. Ideally it requires two dives to appreciate it properly.

P29 Minesweeper

Located off Cirkewwa

Depth: 37m/121ft

In 2007, the former East German Kondor-class minesweeper P29 was scuttled off Cirkewwa just opposite the ferry terminal in Malta. Before being sunk, she served with the Armed Forces of Malta for more than 12 years. Today, the wreck sits upright, with the top of the mast reaching 21m/68ft.

Rozi Tugboat

Located off Cirkewwa Point

Depth: 34m/111ft

Built in Bristol, England in 1958 by Charles Hill & Sons for the Johnston Warren Line of Liverpool, England, the wreck was originally named Rossmore. In 1981, she was sold to Tug Malta and renamed Rozi, and operated in the Grand Harbor in Valletta.

Today, the wreck is lying intact, missing its engines and propeller. The anchor lies some 30m/98ft away.

HMS Maori

Located off Valletta

Depth: 12m/39ft

The HMS Maori was the last Tribal-class destroyer to go to war in the Mediterranean. In January 1941, the Maori joined a convoy escort in the Western Approaches in the search of the Bismarck and subsequently picked up some of the survivors from the famous German battleship.

On February 12, 1941, she sank after being hit by a bomb at the entrance of Dockyard Creek in Malta. Today, the wreck lies inside Marsamxetto Harbor and has more life on it than the majority of the other wrecks.

When to go

The summer season runs from April to October, with an average temperature of 21°C/71°F. The average low temperature in January and February is 9°C/49°F.

To plan your diving trip, you can use Divebooker.com, where you will find overviews of destinations and the best dive sites in Malta, as well as book your dive in one of the dive centers.

Where to stay

The dive sites are located all around the islands and it is generally easy to drive from one site to another, so it makes sense to stay close to your chosen dive shop.

No matter what your level is, on Malta you will find your perfect wreck dive that will be an unforgettable experience of a lifetime.

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2019-08-28T12:43:05+00:00July 10th, 2017|Categories: Dive Travel|Tags: |