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Scuba Diving in Malta, Europe
Dive Site: HMS Maori
Location: Marsamxett Harbour, Valletta, Malta. 30 degrees from entry point
Length: 35 metres (115 feet) still intact
Depth: 8 - 16 metres (26 - 52 feet)
Visibility: 10 metres (30 feet)
The Maori was bombed on February 14th 1942 whilst in Valletta Harbour, receiving a direct hit to the engine room which killed one person. Fortunately the rest of the crew were not on board. It is of historical importance as it helped crack the code to sink the Bismark. Originally it blocked a major shipping lane so was towed out of the way, but it broke into two. Only one section is now diveable, which is heavily broken up. The guns were removed, but the rings they were mounted on can still be seen, as can some torpedoes. It is buried deeply by sand and the bridge is the only part still to remain intact. The sand is easily stirred up, but the swim through is never the less straightforward. Despite the lack of visibility for Maltese waters this still makes a good dive. There are lots of fireworms, a John Dory, eels and perhaps octopus on and around the wreck and in the sand nearby sea horses are found. As with most Maltese dives, entry is from the shore. A very relaxed, easy dive.
The Maori lies at a 210 degree bearing from the archway on land. It's a beautiful wreck with lots of swim throughs and holes to investigate; I swam the length of it inside. I saw a flat fish, and on the way back an octopus that shot his ink at me.
Rik Vercoe, BSAC Advanced Instructor
Excellent dive! I completed my holiday task of finding an octopus: he was brilliant and squirted ink at me as he was being photographed, then scurried along the rocks and into a hole! As for the wreck, it is reached after a short swim across a sandy bay, just the bow and midships are left. The wreck is open making it easy to enter and fun to explore and go in and out of various holes and passages. I saw quite a few jellyfish here, a little nudibranch and a flatfish hiding in the sand.
Carina Hall, PADI Divemaster
Rik and Carina say it all really but I really enjoyed this dive. Easy to dive and a historical ship...
Christer Lindström, NAUI Advanced Scuba Diver
Lovely dive in the habour. We crossed stones covered with red fern-like coral and saw two octopus, a John Dory, flounder and lots of gobies. The wreck itself is very impressive, very rusty and surrounded by lots of fish.
Anna Wright, PADI Advanced Open Water Diver
On a holiday to Malta I did 10 dives of which the HMS Maori was one. It was fantastic and I returned to do my first night dive on it. The octopus was there and so were dozens of scorpionfish and moray eels. During the first day dive I chanced upon what looked like a dynamo or other electrical part but on closer examination the nodes looked too recent. Thus my caution to divers that people are dumping things near the wreck to add to the intrigue of the dive.
Carl Vaz, PADI Advanced Open Water
As a complete novice I was taken on an intro dive to the Maori. The German girl that took me out was just let me explore but guided me on. On seeing the hole in the sand I wondered who put a plug hole there. It was the fore deck gun mount ring. Looking up, the superstructure was over me. Fantastic intro to diving.
The first time I dived this wreck was in 1986 when I was asked to look for a tobacco tin filled with threepenny pieces by Terry Moores Father who was an Officer on her when she sank, I didn't find the tin.
Colin Blows | 10/11/08
I went to Malta last year with my dad just for the diving, and it was an absolute fab place. I may be in a school lesson but remembered my trip here, an excellent place for divers.
Sam M | 13/03/09
My favorite shipwreck to visit just holding your breath and diving it from the surface as free diver. Not many wrecks gives you that option when you posess just novice free diving skills and 9 to15 metres above your head feels enough of water.
Markku | 27/08/09
Great place, I had lots of fun, Maltese people are very welcoming and their cuttlefish too! This was a good wreck to have fun in shallow waters.
Jose Nuno Pereira | 12/04/10
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