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MV Karwela Wreck

Gozo Diving – MV Karwela

The MV Karwela was launched as M/S Frisia II in 1957.  During 1977 she was named the “Nordpaloma” and transferred to Malta in 1986. She then sailed for Comino Marina LTD until around 2002 under her present name MV Karwela. The MV Karwela ferry measures 50.31 meter by 8.50 meter and was designed to carry 863 passengers.

The ferry was scuttled as an artificial reef for scuba divers in Xatt L-Ahmar, Gozo along with MV Cominoland on 12th August 2006. A previous wreck,  the MV Xlendi,  lies just to the West of where the MV Karwela settled.

Gozo Diving – MV Karwela Route

The MV Karwela is probably the most dived wreck around Gozo. More interesting than the MV Xlendi and closer to shore and larger than the MV Cominoland, she has some open passageways and swim throughs. The wreck is now fully populated with an overall coating of algae and marine invertebrates, and the sea firs along the rails are a popular feeding ground for nudibranchs. The largely calm deep water around the wreck also encourages the growth of some very large spiral tube worms (Spirographis spallanzani)

Normally dived from the shore, she is a short swim strait out from the entry point. Her bows rest in 39 metres with the deck at 33 metres. Shortly after sinking, a VW car adorned with graffiti and pink carpet wheel arches was also sunk onto the wreck, but all that remains now is a collapsed chassis down on the starboard deck by the stern.

The scuttling was filmed for the Gozo Government and the video of the MV Karwela sinking has gone viral on Youtube as an AFM inflatable skims under the stern as it rises in the final moments before the ship finally sinks.

There are two ladders on the rocks by the shore, which make getting out of the water after one of the wreck dives a lot easier.


Gozo Diving – Location:

West of Mgarr.

Gozo Diving – Access:

Can be done by boat, but more generally from the shore driving down a track through farm land and then an easy walk down. Entry  is either down one of the ladders or a giant stride entry from the rocks.

Gozo Diving – Conditions:

Generally sheltered from the northwest winds.

Gozo Diving – Average depth:

33m at the bow and 38m at the stern

Gozo Diving – Maximum depth:

39m – 45m to the sand beneath the hull

Gozo Diving – Average visibility:


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.