Also known as
HMS Oakley, L72
98m (avg), 100+m (max)
Shore access
Boat only
35.8883° N 14.6434° E (Nearby)
35°53.298' N 014°38.604' E
35°53'18" N 014°38'36" E
★★★★ from 2 divers

ORP Kujawiak is one of the many World War II wreck dives in Malta. Kujawiak was a Hunt class Polish escort destroyer. She run into a mine when approaching Grand Harbour and sank in 1942. The wreck was found in 2014.

ORP Kujawiak wreck is around 100 metres deep located few kilometres east of Valletta. This is a boat dive for technical trimix divers. The wreck is about 85 m in length and lying on her port side with stern pointing north. She is in good condition expect the bent stern.

ORP Kujawiak was opened for divers on 1st May 2019, managed by Heritage Malta, and diving the wreck requires a special permit. Read more about diving the historical wrecks in Malta.

ORP Kujawiak’s original name was HMS Oakley (L72) and she was a sister ship of HMS Southwold (L10), which is another technical wreck dive in Malta, depth 68 m (bow part) and 73 m (stern part).

ORP Kujawiak (HMS Oakley) wreck history

ORP Kujawiak was built for British Royal Navy by Vickers-Armstrongs Ltd in England and launched on 30 October 1940 as HMS Oakley (L72). She was transferred to Polish Navy and renamed in 1941. Kujawiak was a Type II Hunt class destroyer escort, about 85 m in length with 9.5 m beam. She carried a crew of 168.

Mid-June 1942 ORP Kujawiak joined Force X at Gibraltar and participated in Operation Harpoon, escorting a relief convoy with supplies to Malta. In the early hours of 16th June 1942 while approaching Grand Harbour of Valletta, another ship in the convoy struck a minefield. Kujawiak went for rescue and ended up hitting a mine herself on the port side. The destroyer tilted and sank in less than half an hour at 01:20. 13 Polish serviceman lost their lives.

ORP Kujawiak sank few kilometres east of Valletta where the depth is about 100 metres. The ship landed on her stern, which buckled when it hit the bottom. The wreck is a war grave.

The wreck of ORP Kujawiak was found on 22nd September 2014 by Polish expedition. She was opened for diving on 1st May 2019 together with seven other WWI and WWII wrecks.

More info about ORP Kujawiak dive site
Heritage Malta

ORP Kujawiak wreck ORP Kujawiak escort destroyer wreck ORP Kujawiak / HMS Oakley

Comments and Ratings

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Adam Sant, September 2020:
Adam Sant, September 2020:
★★★★★ Very nice wreck with lots to see. Abundance of lobsters and other fish. Long deco is required, but it is well worth it.
Ben VB, September 2020:
★★★★ Nice wreck with a lot of life on it. Quite large so difficult to explore on one dive, given the limited bottom time at this depth.

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