Hephaestus is an oil tanker planned to be scuttled off Qala Point on the western coast of Gozo at a depth of 30-40 metres as an underwater attraction. This would be a boat dive for experienced divers. Togo-registered Hephaestus is about 60 m in length with a beam of 8 m.
Hephaestus was wrecked at Qawra Point on 10th February 2018. The ship was anchored near the area known as Is-Sikka l-Bajda approximately 3 km from the coast when she started dragging anchor in a heavy storm and drifted directly towards the shore. An hour later at around 6:15 in the morning Hephaestus run into the rocks. The oil tanker was carrying no cargo, and the crew of seven was unharmed.
Six months later on 15th August 2018, after necessary temporary repairs, Hephaestus was pulled off the rocks by two tugboats and towed to Marsa shipyard. The severely damaged ship is too costly to repair, and will therefore be either scuttled as a diving wreck or sold as scrap.
There are already three popular diving wrecks in Gozo located in Xatt l-Ahmar on the south east coast: Karwela, Cominoland and Xlendi. Another vessel, old patrol boat P33, is also planned to be scuttled in Gozo in the near future, possibly near Reqqa Point in front of Billinghurst Cave.
More info about Hephaestus dive site
Wrecksite.eu - M/S Hephaestus
Times of Malta: Tanker wrecked in Qawra could become Gozo diving attraction (17th October 2019)
Safety investigation into the grounding of the Togo registered oil tanker Hephaestus
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