Um el Faroud - Malta Diving

On today's agenda...the Um el Faroud a 110 meter long 10 000 ton tanker which was scuttled near  Wied iz-Zurrieq near Qrendi.

She was built in 1969 at Smith Dock Co. Ltd, Middlesbrough, England and was owned by the General National Maritime Transport Company, Tripoli (GNMTC). She had been operating between Italy and Libya carrying refined fuel up to 1 February 1995. On 3 February 1995 she was docked at No.3 Dock of Malta dry docks. During the night of 3 February an explosion occurred in No.3 centre tank and nine shipyard workers lost their lives.

The vessel suffered structural deformation and, following inspection and survey, was considered a total write-off. She occupied the dock in the harbour of Valletta for three years until it was decided that the best option to utilize her remaining value was to tow her to sea and scuttle her as an artificial reef in 1998.

Once kitted up we did a giant stride into the calm water and swam across the valley and descended to 10m where we headed in the direction of the wreck, after a few minutes we saw the helmet sank by a local dive group, great for natural navigation to the wreck and then out of the hazy blue appeared the wreck, its always breath taking to see such a huge ship under the water.

Whilst exploring the wreck we saw a free swimming moray, a hidden moray, 2 Amberjacks, 2 Barracudas lots of parrot fish...120 Bar time to head back, at 15m there was a pretty strong current so we made our way down to 26m and volla a gentle current pushing us back to shore, after a 3 minute safety stop at 5m we exited and everyone was thrilled and chatted excitedly about the dive!


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