The 60m tanker known as the Hephaestus which ran aground on the Qawra coast over three years ago was pulled back into the sea off Gozo to serve as a diving attraction.
The ship had run aground on the feast of St Paul’s Shipwreck on February 10th 2018 and was stranded on the rocks for six months before being patched up and towed to the Grand Harbour.
The ship was found too costly to repair, but was then cleaned in preparation for the scuttling off Xatt l-Aħmar. The operation to sink the 855-tonne vessel was a delicate operation, with many watching the scene.
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The operation was handled by Malta Tourism Authority in collaboration with the Professional Diving School and the Gozo Ministry.
Gozo Minister Clint Camilleri and Tourism Minister Clayton Bartolo both commented on the ship’s scuttling.
Bartolo said that this provides a new opportunity for divers to enjoy a brand new attraction whilst also drawing in foreign visitors to the site. Camilleri highlighted how this site will be added with the already established 55 sites in Gozo to strengthen the industry.
Credit: Jurgen Aquilina