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Diving in the east coast of Malta near Vallette at dive site HMS Maori
|Name Dive Site:||HMS Maori|
|Depth: ||5-19m (16-62ft)|
|Visibility: ||10-15m (32-49ft)|
|Accessibility: ||Shore, Boat|
|Inserted/Added by: ||debono|
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I have a soft spot for the Maori as it was my first wreck dive ever back in 1980. Since then I have dived it many times and always enjoyed it. It is deteriorating badly now and some of the structure is beginning to collapse. It is located below Fort St. Elmo in Marsamxetto harbor at a place known as the Jews Sally Port.
The originally 126 meter long British destroyer the HMS Maori is one of the most famous ship wrecks in Maltese waters. She was involved in stalking and sinking the famous German Battleship Bismarck. She was sunk in Grand Harbour Valletta on the 12th of February 1942 when she was bombed during an air raid. A bomb hit her and exploded in her engine room. In 1945 when everything useful had been removed, she was refloated and towed out of the shipping lane by the South African salvage vessel GAMTOOS. She was laid to rest in Marsamxetto Bay, close to the main harbour of Valetta next to St. Elmo's fort, where she still lies today at only 70 meters from shore.
The wreck is broken in two with only the front half of the bow section still remaining. Penetration of the wreck is still possible at many places but easiest at the back. Be careful as there are a lot of sharp metal objects sticking out of the wreck. Exiting is easiest and safest through the huge holes in her starboard side.
She is an old wreck that has a lot of growth on her hull and which is filled with marine life. Octopuses are common and sea horses, bream, scorpion fish and flat fish can be found in the area's surrounding the wreck. There is a small reef nearby which is shallow and excellent to do your safety stop. She is still a great dive location with plenty of life such as many small groupers.
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Messages from readers:
Name: lars, © Author: Lars Hemel
What people forget about this wreck is that its obviously the ultimate destination for snorkelling! Its close to shore (70m) and so shallow (9 to 14m) so anyone who can snorkel can visit it. Even novice snorkelers are able to join and visit the wreck. Forget your scuba tank, and visit this wreck just holding your breath !!! Its only one time in life you can have such a chance.
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