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Wreck of ORP "Kujawiak" placed under special surveillance

The next edition of the Wreck Diving Festival in Lodz will take place soon. One of the topics presented during this event, will concern the wreck of the Polish destroyer ORP “Kujawiak” found near Malta by members of the Wreck Expeditions Association. Today we hasten to report that the Maltese authorities have placed the wreck
Published: November 27, 2015 - 19:45
Updated: July 22, 2023 - 10:54
Wreck of ORP “Kujawiak” placed under special surveillance

The next edition of the Wreck Diving Festival in Lodz will take place soon. One of the topics presented during this event, will concern the wreck of the Polish destroyer ORP “Kujawiak” found near Malta by members of the Wreck Expeditions Association. Today we hasten to report that the Maltese authorities have placed the wreck under special surveillance.

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Indormation from members of the Wrecking Expeditions Association:

“We receive many questions about the possibility of diving on the wreck of the Kujawiak. Thanks to the efforts of the Wreck Expeditions Association, the wreck of the Polish ship has been declared a war grave and a monument and diving on it is prohibited.

Possible scientific research projects on the wreck of the Polish escort ship must be accepted by the Ministry of Culture of Malta and have the appropriate approvals and permits. Illegal exploration of the shipwreck will be treated as an offence and prosecuted by law.”

On 22 September 2014, the Polish expedition “The Hunt for L72″ located and identified the wreck of the Polish destroyer ORP “Kujawiak”. On 16 June 1942, the vessel sank off the coast of Malta, where she was on escort duty. It was while protecting one of the transports that the L-72 hit a mine and went down. According to different sources 12-13 Polish seamen lost their lives that day.

During her short service, “Kujawiak” participated in missions in the Bristol Channel and the English Channel. The last wartime touch before sinking was the big operation “Harpoon”, during which she escorted supplies to Malta.

The keel for ORP “Kujawiak” was laid on 22 November 1939 in Vickers-Armstrong shipyard, High Walker, Tyne. The Hunt II type destroyer was originally planned to enter service with the Royal Navy as HMS “Oakley”. The situation changed when the Polish government placed an order for 18 ships of this type on 4 September 1939. The order for 18 ships of this type was placed by the Polish government on 4 September 1939. “Kujawiak” was one of the three from this order that went to our Navy.

The L-72 measured 85.34m long and 9.62m wide. The displacement of the vessel was 1050t. The ship was powered by two sets of Parsons steam turbines, 19000 shp; two Admiralty type boilers and two screws. This allowed her to develop a speed of 27 knots and translated into a range of 2000Mm at 20 knots and 3700Mm at an economy speed of 14 knots.

The whole unit was armed with 6 universal guns cal. 102 mm, 4 plot guns cal. 40 mm, 2-4 plot guns cal. 20 mm, 2 machine guns cal. 7.7 mm, 1-2 launchers and 2 depth bomb throwers.

Source: Wrecking Association

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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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