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New wreck in Malta - P-33 patrol boat turned into artificial reef

Listen to this article As announced, a new wreck has appeared in Malta. At the beginning of the month, a P-33 patrol boat was sunk on the island and created an artificial reef and attraction for divers. The P-33 patrol boat has joined the many magnificent wrecks sunk in Malta. The vessel was withdrawn from
Published: August 7, 2021 - 09:00
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 23:02
New wreck in Malta – P-33 patrol boat turned into artificial reef
Listen to this article

As announced, a new wreck has appeared in Malta. At the beginning of the month, a P-33 patrol boat was sunk on the island and created an artificial reef and attraction for divers.

The P-33 patrol boat has joined the many magnificent wrecks sunk in Malta. The vessel was withdrawn from service many years ago and now finally has a new task. The wreck has been placed on the seabed, where it is expected to attract not only divers, but also provide a stimulus for the flora and fauna to flourish.

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P-33 before sinking
Patrol boat P-33 just before sinking Photo Matthew Mirabelli/Times of Malta

In Malta, the local authorities have been implementing a programme of artificial reef creation for years. One cannot deny them impetus and consistency. Thanks to the appearance of subsequent deliberately sunken wrecks on the bottom and making the historical ones available for diving, the island is a real magnet for divers. Additionally, an appropriate selection of sites for the creation of artificial reefs supports the flourishing of marine life.

The team behind the project sunk a P-33 patrol boat between the wrecks of St Michael and Tugboat 10. These are two tugboats that also make interesting dive locations. Another wreck will certainly further enhance the attractiveness of the site, both in the eyes of fish and divers.

The P-33 patrol boat as a new wreck in Malta was supposed to appear as early as 2012. It was then that the island’s press first mentioned such an idea. As you can see some time has passed since then, but better late than never!

The main obstacle to the sinking of the P-33, were the concerns of the authorities about the impact on the local environment. Fortunately, these were overcome. The vessel was properly cleaned and prepared so as not to have a negative impact on the marine ecosystem.

The new wreck in Malta has become a reality
Last moments on the surface Photo Matthew Mirabelli/Times of Malta

According to available information, the depth at which the wreck rests does not exceed 20 m. This makes it accessible to divers with OWD qualifications as well as freedivers. Soon we will certainly see many photos in which the new wreck in Malta will be the foreground star.

History of the P-33 patrol boat

The P-33 patrol boat is a Bremse class vessel built in Germany in 1971-72 and came to Malta in 1992, along with her sister boat P-32 and two Condor class boats P-29 and P-31, all of which served in the East German navy. Malta bought them at a bargain price when Germany was reunified in the early 1990s.

The P-33 served as a patrol boat with the Malta Armed Forces Marine Squadron until it was withdrawn from service in 2005. Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo said the sinking of the wreck is part of a €250,000 investment that will benefit and strengthen Malta’s diving sector.

Photo: Arkadiusz Srebnik/Poland Diving Photo


Malta is a great place for a diving trip. Very diverse in terms of diving sites and level of difficulty. You can read more about diving in Malta in Carollina Wells’ article, which we published in issue 17. DIVERS24 quarterly! The digital version of the magazine is available free of charge, while the printed version can be purchased from our webshop.

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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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