Um El Faroud
Wreck of Um El Faroud
|Owner:||General National Maritime Transport Company|
|Builder:||Smiths Dock Company|
|Fate:||scuttled as an artificial reef|
|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.
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.
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. 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). 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 is one of the most popular shipwrecks in Malta and a pleasure to visit.