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P29 Patrol Boat Dive Site Malta

One of the popular Maltese wreck dives near the northern harbour of Ċirkewwa has become a haven for stone bass and chevron barracudas.

This guide contains useful information about a former minesweeper scuttled intentionally to create an artificial reef for marine life and for recreational divers.

History Behind the Scuttling of Maltese P29

This Kondor class minesweeper (aka Boltenhagen) was a small warship built to remove and detonate naval mines.

Here's the thing:

Malta bought the unarmed vessel in July 1997, renamed it to pennant number P29, and started using it as a coastal patrol boat.

Plus, the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta (AFM) added some light armament until they decommissioned it in 2004.

The Malta Tourism Authority bought the vessel in September 2005 and had it made environmentally safe before scuttling it in August 2007.

The site chosen for the man made coral reefs was close to the harbour and ferry terminal at the northernmost part of the Maltese shoreline.

Diving the Patrol Boat P29 Wreck

It's fair to say that most of the best diving sites in Malta are wreck dives. Even so, this particular sinking is one of the most recent.

For example, the HMS Maori wreck was bombed in 1942 and the MV Rozi (tugboat) has been attracting marine life since it was scuttled in 1992.

The P29 minesweeper patrol boat came to rest around 150 metres from the shore at Cirkewwa. It's sitting upright on the sandy seabed at a maximum depth around thirty five (35) metres (115 feet). The superstructure measures about fifty two (52) metres long.

Put another way:

Novice divers with entry-level certifications, and certified freedivers, can reach the highest point at 12 metres (39 feet) below the surface.

The local dive shops will want to see an Advanced Diving qualification, or Advanced Freediver certification, before they will take you to the deepest parts of the P29 patrol boat dive site.

Having easy access from the shoreline means several other diving destinations are also within reach, such as the Cirkewwa Arch dive site and the wreck of MV Rozi tug.

Pro Tip: In the past, the Amazing Beautiful World listed the P29 patrol boat wreck among the "10 Most Incredible Sunken Ships on Earth".

Marine Life at Maltese Patrol Boat P29

There are many reasons why creating artificial reefs is important, not least for scuba divers to enjoy. Even so, this location offers a unique habitat for an abundance of marine species to settle, including:

Pro Tip: Our Sea Life creatures and animals guide contains a comprehensive list of vertebrates and invertebrates, including fun and interesting facts, pictures, and videos.

Related Information and Help Guides

Note: The short video [1:43 seconds] presented by "Diving in Malta" contains footage of P29 stern and a mock-up machine gun.

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