A 60-meter ship that ran aground little over three years ago on the Qawra coast was scuttled on Monday afternoon off the shore of Gozo and will now begin a new life as a diving attraction.
Ironically, the Hephaestus grounded on February 10, 2018, the day of St. Paul’s shipwreck. Nobody was hurt.
It spent six months stuck high and dry on the rocks before being repaired, dragged back into the water, and hauled to Grand Harbour.
Once it was determined that repairing it would be too expensive, it was cleaned in order to scuttle off Xatt L-Amar, with certain equipment removed and all harmful gasoline and lubricants emptied.
The operators of the 855-tonne ship, which was once registered in Togo, carefully planned the sinking procedure to make sure it landed right side up on the seafloor 30 meters below. Many individuals observed from boats and the neighboring shore, which was around 30 meters distant.
The Professional Diving School (PDSA) and the Gozo Ministry worked together with the Malta Tourism Authority to manage the operation.
A significant part of Malta’s tourism product is diving, and over time, several ships have been intentionally sunk to create artificial reefs.