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Um-El-Faroud Wreck, Malta

Malta Diving – History


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.[1]


History Source Um El Faroud Wikipedia


The vessel suffered structural deformation and, following inspection and survey, was considered a total write-off. She occupied the dock in the harbor 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. Sunk in september 1998, the ill-fated Um el Faroud previously lay in the harbour at Valletta for three years following a terrible explosion on board that killed nine Maltese dockyard workers. Now, with a memorial brass plate in place, the ship sits upright on a sandy seabed at 32m. At 10,000 tons and 110m long the Um el Faroud is an impressive sight. The depth to the bridge is 15m and the depth to the deck 25m.

The wreck is completely open for penetration, but has not yet been made fully safe inside, and should only be attempted with proper training. This is a very large wreck and usually takes more than the one dive to explore it fully. St Andrew’s Divers Cove make several trips to this wreck throughout the main season when the weather allows. The wreck is a longish boat trip either from Divemania’s mooring in Xlendi or from the sheltered mooring in Mgarr Harbour.

Malta Diving – Location:

140m southwest of Wied iz-Zurrieq headland.


By boat.


Sheltered from northeasterly winds, but exposed to other swells; current to be expected running from stern to bow.

Average depth:


Maximum depth:


Average visibility:




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.