Hay Wharf

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Hay Wharf
Xatt it-Tiben
Floriana, Malta
Malta - Floriana - Xatt it-Tiben 02 ies.jpg
Hay Wharf as seen from Sa Maison
Hay Wharf is located in Malta
Hay Wharf
Hay Wharf
Coordinates35°53′44.2″N 14°30′6.3″E / 35.895611°N 14.501750°E / 35.895611; 14.501750
TypeNaval base
Site information
OwnerGovernment of Malta
OperatorMaritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta
ConditionActive
Site history
Built2015–2016
In use1977–present
MaterialsLimestone and concrete

Hay Wharf or Haywharf (Maltese: Xatt it-Tiben) is a naval base in Marsamxett Harbour, in the town of Floriana, Malta. The wharf has been the main base of the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta since 1977,[1] and a new facility was built between 2015 and 2016.

History[edit]

Hay Wharf is situated along the Marsamxett side of the Floriana Lines. The wharf is located between Msida Bastion and La Vittoria Bastion, and is overlooked by the Polverista Curtain, a long casemated curtain wall completed in 1722.[2]

The wharf was probably named "Hay Wharf" since it was used to store forage in the 19th century.[3] It has also been proposed that the wharf was named after Lord John Hay, who was the Commander in Chief of the Mediterranean Fleet based in Malta between 1883 and 1887.[4] The Club House of the Royal Malta Yacht Club was located at Hay Wharf until 1970.[5]

The 1st (Maritime) Battery of the Armed Forces of Malta moved from Senglea to Hay Wharf in October 1977. The Battery became the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta in 1980, retaining the same base.[6] Hay Wharf is also Malta's main search and rescue base, and all rescued illegal immigrants are landed there.

The Swift-class patrol boat P23 has been laid up at Hay Wharf since its decommissioning in 2010. The patrol boat is to be preserved as a memorial for the seven soldiers and policemen who died when it exploded in 1984.[7]

In November 2014, it was announced that the base will be upgraded in a €5.5 million project. The upgrade includes the building of a border control room, a rapid deployment launching facility, training facilities, and better staff accommodation.[8] Construction of the new base began in mid-2015, and the new structures are controversial since some feel that they hide the bastions behind them.[9] The new base was inaugurated in January 2016.[10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Maritime Squadron, AFM". Armed Forces of Malta. Archived from the original on 24 June 2015.
  2. ^ "Polverista Curtain – Floriana Lines" (PDF). National Inventory of the Cultural Property of the Maltese Islands. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  3. ^ Cassar, Michael (28 May 2015). "Hay Wharf". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  4. ^ Galea, Michael (24 May 2015). "Hay Wharf translation". Times of Malta. Archived from the original on 1 June 2015.
  5. ^ "History". The Royal Malta Yacht Club. Archived from the original on 31 July 2017.
  6. ^ "Maritime Squadron Armed Forces of Malta". steno.webs.com. March 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2015.
  7. ^ "P23 Model Presented to AFM". Armed Forces of Malta. 4 January 2013. Archived from the original on 8 January 2013.
  8. ^ "New look for AFM base". Times of Malta. 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016.
  9. ^ "Outcry over army base structure marring the bastions". Times of Malta. 14 June 2015. Archived from the original on 9 June 2016.
  10. ^ "Haywharf structure beautifies the area, minister claims". Times of Malta. 11 January 2016. Archived from the original on 24 October 2017.