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Malta has opened up three WWII aircraft wrecks to divers

Malta’s historical heritage is becoming increasingly accessible to divers. Now going diving in this region, we will have the opportunity to visit three new World War II aircraft wrecks. The remains of true legends, in the form of the B24 Liberator, the Douglas A-1 Skyraider and the JU88, have been added to the list of
Published: August 6, 2020 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 20:37
Malta has opened up three WWII aircraft wrecks to divers

Malta’s historical heritage is becoming increasingly accessible to divers. Now going diving in this region, we will have the opportunity to visit three new World War II aircraft wrecks. The remains of true legends, in the form of the B24 Liberator, the Douglas A-1 Skyraider and the JU88, have been added to the list of vessels permitted to visit.

While each new wreck made available for diving pleases and attracts many divers from around the world, the process itself is time-consuming and complicated, and adding new sites to the list of available items follows countless months of research and surveillance.

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wreck of the Douglas A-1 Skyraider divers24.pl
The wreck of the Douglas A-1 Skyraider aircraft photo: Heritage Malta

“Before a decision is made to open up the site, a lot of preliminary research is done leading up to the opening, and research is done, which includes 3D modelling, to get a full picture and state of preservation of the site. Then we also take into account various factors, such as hazards – can anything be looted from the wreck? Or how the site adds value to Malta as a tourism product. Then we prepare the relevant documentation to make the final decision,” – said Dr Timmy Gambin

Malta is a wonderful and extremely popular diving destination, regardless of our underwater tastes and level of training. It comes as no surprise, then, that the authorities of this small country, understanding the potential inherent in diving and seeing the real impact on the local economy, are taking action to support the development of this sector of tourism.

Creation of new diving sites in the form of artificial reefs, however, is not the only way to encourage divers from all over the world to get to know and systematically return to Malta. A new interesting trend that we can observe all over the world is making archaeological sites and historical wrecks available as underwater attractions.

Aircraft wreck Junkers JU88 3D model divers24.pl
3D model of the wreck of the Junkers JU88 aircraft photo: Heritage Malta

Of course, these are not dive sites like any other and special rules apply here. However, this does not change the fact that more and more magnificent locations with a rich historical context are made available as underwater museum exhibitions. We can enjoy their view, but we cannot touch them, which is defacto all in accordance with good diving practice.

England, Greece, Malta and many other countries seem to be going in the same direction, systematically making small amounts of their sunken treasures available. For the time being, as a kind of test, wanting to make sure that their historical heritage is safe. There is no denying, however, that with each passing year these activities are looking bolder and bolder and bode well for the future. We can only hope that a similar course will be taken in Poland.

Source: Times of Malta

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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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