Malta Diving – HMS Stubborn Wreck
The HMS Stubborn (P 238) was a 66m S-class submarine scuttled by the Royal Navy on the 30th April 1946 to be used for ASDIC practice, and is up-right and intact on a sandy bottom. Because of the depth, the no-reference descent and the mandatory deco-stop in open water, this dive is limited to very experienced divers.
As you go down, the wreck arises from the deep navy blue, covered in hundreds of brightly coloured sponges and shoals of damselfish are to be seen around the conning tower. An old grouper lives under the bilge and you can occasionally meet him. After 12 minutes spent on the wreck if using air, you ascend from the conning tower back to the boat and prepare to stay at 5m (15ft) for a long deco-stop.
The wreck of HMS Stubborn can be dived on air if the divers are experienced deep divers, but there is a growing band of technical divers who would now prefer to dive a wreck at this depth using normoxic tri-mix.
“In open-circuit scuba, two classes of trimix are commonly used: normoxic trimix—with a minimum PO2 at the surface of 0.18 and hypoxic trimix—with a PO2 less than 0.18 at the surface. A normoxic mix such as “19/30” is used in the 30 to 60 m (100 to 200 ft) depth range; a hypoxic mix such as “10/50” is used for deeper diving, as a bottom gas only, and cannot safely be breathed at shallow depths where the ppO2 is less than 0.18 bar.”
Malta Diving – dive site statistics
Malta Diving – Location:
About 3 nautical miles north-east of St Paul’s Bay.
Completely exposed to all winds and so should be done only in perfect weather.
You can find more details of the many gozo and malta diving sites on our main page
You may want to check out the regulations for gozo and malta diving on the official Professional Diving Schools Association – Malta website.