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In Malta, nets were removed from the wreck of HMS Southwold

Another sunken vessel has been cleared of its broken nets. This time it is the wreck of the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Southwold, which sank near Malta in 1942 after running into a mine. The action of removing ghost nets entwining the bow of the wreck of a British destroyer was realised and carried out
Published: January 24, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 21:53
In Malta, nets were removed from the wreck of HMS Southwold

Another sunken vessel has been cleared of its broken nets. This time it is the wreck of the Royal Navy destroyer HMS Southwold, which sank near Malta in 1942 after running into a mine.

The action of removing ghost nets entwining the bow of the wreck of a British destroyer was realised and carried out by Heritage Malta in cooperation with Atlam Sub Aqua Club. Six divers took part in the work and all tasks were completed in one dive, during which the nets were cut off and sent to the surface.

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Extraction of nets to the boat deck The activities described here are part of a number of different initiatives aimed at protecting, safeguarding and providing divers and enthusiasts with access to Malta’s historical heritage which lies submerged in the waters surrounding the island in the Mediterranean Sea. It is also significant that ghost nets are a deadly trap for both humans and representatives of the local fauna.

Nets removed from wreck Malta

As well as contributing to the protection of our submerged cultural heritage, such operations also bring environmental benefits. Today, pollution of the seas is on the rise and understanding the environmental impact of these processes is a priority. Eliminating ghost nets and stripped fishing gear is an integral part of protecting the marine environment, reads a press release published by Heritage Malta

The shipwreck is located approximately 2.4km off the coast of Marsascala and rests at a depth of 65 metres. HMS Southwold was a British Hunt type destroyer, which protected convoys sailing in the region during World War II. On 24 March 1942, she ran aground on a mine and sank, breaking into two pieces as she sank to the bottom.

Historic photo of the ship HMS Southwold The bow measures about 40 metres long and lies on the starboard side. About 300 metres away is the stern of the vessel measuring 28 metres.

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About author

Tomasz Andrukajtis
Editor-in-chief of the DIVERS24 portal and magazine. Responsible for obtaining, translating and developing content. He also supervises all publications. Achived his first diving certification – P1 CMAS, in 2000. Has a degree in journalism and social communication. In the diving industry since 2008.
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