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Malta gains another artificial reef


artificial reef

The Professional Diving School Association of Malta, Gozo and Comino (PDSA) and Malta Tourism Authority (MTA) have added yet another shipwreck to the ever-growing number of artificial reef systems around the islands.

artificial reef 1
The P-33 during preparation

On Saturday 31 July, the patrol boat P-33 was sent to the bottom off Zonqor Point, coming to rest in around 20m between the existing St Michael and Melita purpose-sunk vessels.

The 23-metre-long P-33 was a Bremse-class vessel that was built in East Germany in the early 1970s. It initially served in the East German Navy before being bought by Malta in 1992 to serve as a patrol boat in the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta. It was decommissioned in 2005, and had actually been ear-marked to be sunk in Marsalforn Bay on Gozo back in 2012 before red-tape scuppered the plan.

artificial reef 2
Divers explore the wreck of the P31 off Comino.

She is the third patrol boat to be sunk for divers around the islands, joining the Kondor-class vessels P29, off Cirkewwa, and the P31, off Comino.

Posting on Facebook, Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said that the scuttling of the patrol boat is part of a €250,000 investment which will benefit and strengthen the diving sector in Malta. 

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Picture of Mark Evans
Mark Evans
Scuba Diver's Editorial Director Mark Evans has been in the diving industry for nearly 25 years, and has been diving since he was just 12 years old. nearly 40-odd years later and he is still addicted to the underwater world.
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