Diving the Um El Faroud Wreck off Malta, An Exemplary Artificial Reef and a Scuba Diver’s Dream

by Owen James Burke

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Still: ‘s Vimeo film, “Malta”.

On the night of February 3rd, 1995, a 360-foot single screw cargo tanker called the Um El Faroud was docked in Malta undergoing routine maintenance when a massive gas explosion tragically took the lives of nine shipyard workers and left the vessel damaged well beyond repair.

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Still: ‘s Vimeo film, “Malta” (below).

For three years, the wasted vessel lay forsaken at the dock while officials decided what to do with her.

Eventually she was scuttled offshore in about 120 feet of water. Within two years, the Um El Faroud has taken on a new life. She’s broken up some over the years, but only continues to host more life, bringing in everything from corals and sardines to tuna and barracuda, and it all started just 10 minutes after sinking. Watch the scuttling of the Um El Faroud:


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