Maltese patrol boat P31

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Mal P31.jpg
Patrol boat P31 at Xatt it-Tiben in Marsamxett Harbour, Floriana
Career (East Germany)
Name: Pasewalk (GS05)
Builder: Peenewerft shipyard
Laid down: 12 December 1968
Launched: 18 June 1969
Commissioned: 18 October 1969
Decommissioned: 1990
Fate: Sold to Malta, 1992.
Career (Malta)
Name: P31
Acquired: 1 July 1992
Decommissioned: 2004
Fate: Scuttled as artificial dive site, 25 August 2009
General characteristics
Class & type: Kondor I
Displacement: 361 tons
Length: 51.98 metres (170 ft)
Beam: 7.12 metres (23.4 ft)
Draft: 2.3 metres (7.6 ft)
Propulsion: MD 40 diesel engines
Speed: 20 knots
Complement: 20
Armament: 1 quad 14.5 mm gun

Pasewalk (GS05) was a Kondor I-class minesweeper built in East Germany. After the Volksmarine was disbanded just before the reunification of Germany, she was sold to Malta in 1992 and renamed P31 and was used as a patrol boat. After being decommissioned, she was scuttled as a dive site in 2009 off Comino.

History[edit]

East Germany[edit]

The minesweeper was laid down on 12 December 1968 at Peenewerft shipyard in Wolgast. She was launched on 18 June 1969 and commissioned on 18 October of that same year. She was the eighth ship to be built within the Kondor I class, and was named Pasewalk after the town of the same name in Neubrandenburg. She was used to patrol the river banks between East and West Germany, as well as a minesweeper.

After the Volksmarine was disbanded, she and the other Kondor I-class were deemed too obsolete to join the German Navy, so she was decommissioned in 1990. Her armaments were removed.

Malta[edit]

The unarmed minesweeper was then purchased by Malta on 1 July 1992 along with her sister ship Ueckermünde, and they were given the pennant numbers P30 and P31. P31 became a patrol boat within the Offshore Command of the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta. A third sister ship, Boltenhagen, was purchased in 1997 and was given the pennant number P29. Since the former minesweepers were purchased unarmed, some light armament was then added by the AFM.

P31 was then used to secure the Maltese coast against smuggling and border control operations. Most notably was the rescue of 251 illegal immigrants from their 20 metre boat which was sinking 44 miles to the south of Malta in over force 6 winds.[1][2]

P31 was decommissioned in 2004 and bought by the Malta Tourism Authority. She was cleaned and then was scuttled on 25 August 2009 off the Maltese island of Comino at a depth of 18 metres to serve as a diving site and artificial reef. The wreck now lies on bare sand, and it is located close but not on the important sea grass beds.[3]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Tugboat - P31". Professional Diving Schools Association. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  2. ^ "Malta’s newly scuttled wreck – The ex-Pasewalk P31 Patrol Boat". Oxygene Diving. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  3. ^ "Former Patrol Boat P31 scuttled off coast of Comino". Gozo News. 25 August 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 

Coordinates: 36°01′N 14°20′E / 36.017°N 14.333°E / 36.017; 14.333