Gozo Diving – P31 Wreck
The P31 was sank near Tal-Matz on the West coast of Comino, just after you pass the Blue Lagoon on the way from Mgarr Harbour. St Andrew’s Divers Cove normally dive this wreck when our fast, purpose built dive boat Divemania is berthed in Mgarr. Usually early or late in the season, or if strong North Westerly winds are forecast and the Xlendi mooring becomes too rough.
The bottom of the wreck lies in 18 metres of water making this a great wreck dive for Open Water Divers. The wreck has been prepared especially for diving and there are lots of swim throughs with easy exits on this light and airy wreck. Top of the super structure takes you up to 12 metres, but the funnel is starting to show a bit of wear and tear from the winter storms after over three years in the water , so take care of the loose metal plates.
Gozo Diving – P31 Wreck History
The P31, ex-Pasewalk, is the sister ship to the P30, ex-Ueckermunde, and the P29, ex-Boltenhagen, the later already scuttled in August 2007 just off Cirkewwa, on the north coast of Malta.
The former East-German Kondor I class patrol boat was built in 1969 at Wolgast and like it’s sister ship, performed mine-sweeping duties along the river banks between East and West Germany, and between Germany and Denmark by East-German Navy.
It was then transferred to Malta in 1992 where the AFM (Armed Forces Malta) attached a Quad 14.5 mm gun to the otherwise unarmed patrol boat to carry out her duties over Malta’s Continental Shelf.
The 361 ton (full load), twin diesel 4000bhp, twin propeller was responsible for many offshore missions including patrolling the Continental Shelf, border patrols, anti-contraband missions and numerous rescue work.
Most notably was the rescue of 251 illegal immigrants from their 20 meter boat which was sinking 44 miles to the south of Malta in over force 6 winds which P31’s 20knt top speed helped to reach them. It was decommissioned in 2004 and bought by the Malta Tourism Authority who then funded everything from the planning to the actual sinking of the wreck. The 52 meter long and 7 meter wide vessel lying at 19 meters depth on clear white sands makes this wreck a great dive for both beginner and advanced divers not to mention great for free diving. It has been cleaned and doors removed so even penetration can be carried out safely if you are properly trained. Although not much life is on the wreck, it’s very close proximity to Poseidon sea grass will encourage the local marine life to settle on this latest wreck.
Gozo Diving – Conditions:
Sheltered, but very busy with boat traffic as this 18 metre wreck is the only one available to Open Water Divers from Gozo or Malta’s North Coast dive centres
Gozo Diving – Average depth:
12 – 18 Metres
Gozo Diving – Maximum depth:
Gozo Diving – Average visibility:
Usually 15 – 30 metres but susceptible to silt being stirred up on the wreck by divers
You can find more details of the many gozo diving sites on our main page
You may want to check out the regulations for gozo diving on the official Professional Diving Schools Association – Malta website.