Um El Faroud

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Um El Faroud
Partie arrière du Um El Faroud.jpg
Wreck of Um El Faroud
Owner: General National Maritime Transport Company
Builder: Smiths Dock Company
Launched: 1969
Fate: scuttled as an artificial reef
General characteristics
Type: Motor tanker
Tonnage: 10000 tons
Length: 115 m (377 ft)
Beam: 15.5 m (51 ft)

Um El Faroud was a 10,000 ton Libyan owned single screw motor tanker. Following a gas explosion during maintenance work in 1995, she was scuttled off the coast of Malta as an artificial reef and diving attraction.


Plaque on the shipwreck commemorating the explosion

She was built in 1969 at Smith Dock Co. Ltd, Middlesbrough, England and was owned by the General National Maritime Transport Company, Tripoli (GNMTC). She had been operating between Italy and Libya carrying refined fuel up to 1 February 1995. On 3 February 1995 she was docked at No.3 Dock of Malta dry docks. During the night of 3 February an explosion occurred in No.3 centre tank and nine shipyard workers lost their lives.[1]

The vessel suffered structural deformation and, following inspection and survey, was considered a total write-off. She occupied the dock in the harbor of Valletta for three years until it was decided that the best option to utilize her remaining value was to tow her to sea and scuttle her as an artificial reef in 1998.


The wreck sits upright on the sandy seabed southwest of Wied iz-Zurrieq near Qrendi. Um El Faroud weighs 10,000 tons and is 115 metres (377 ft) long.[2] The depth to the top of the bridge is 18 metres (59 ft) and 25 metres (82 ft) to the main deck.The bottom rests at 36 metres. Scuba divers might come across some squid and barracudas at the stern. The wreck can be entered fairly easily, but due to its size, this should be restricted only to divers with advanced wreck diving training.

The vessel has a beam of 15.5 metres (51 ft); the height of the vessel from keel to funnel top is approximately 22 metres (72 ft).[3] After a bad storm during the winter of 2005/6 the ship has now broken in two. While the wreck is still relatively new, it has quickly become popular with fish, including pelagic species such as tuna, jacks, and barracuda. The Um El Faroud[4] is one of the most popular shipwrecks in Malta and a pleasure to visit.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Um El Faroud". Divesite Directory. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  2. ^ "Um El Faroud". Visit Malta. Retrieved 2008-09-14.
  3. ^ "Um El -Faroud Project". Malta Marine Foundation. Retrieved 2009-08-30.
  4. ^ [1] Diving Site Um El Faroud

Coordinates: 35°49.20′N 14°27.04′E / 35.82000°N 14.45067°E / 35.82000; 14.45067