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Scuba Diving in Malta, Europe
Dive Site: MV Xlendi Ferry
Location: Ix Xatt L Ahmar, Gozo
Length: 80 (262 feet)
Depth: 30 - 45 metres (100 - 147 feet)
Visibility: 25 - 30 metres (80 - 100 feet)
This former Gozo - Malta ferry was sunk at Ix Xatt L Ahmar on Gozo for divers some time ago. When we dived her in September of 2007 I was dismayed to find that she is sinking into the sand and very rapidly collapsing, so much so that penetration through the car deck is not only barely worth the effort but also decidedly risky. The funnel has gone now, crushed by the weight of the wreck, and none of the upper superstructure can be seen. She is lying in 44 metres, hull uppermost, sideways on to shore at the bottom of a steep undersea cliff. To find the wreck one must swim out on a bearing of 160 degrees from the steel ladder set in the rocks on the shore immediately below the carpark. In order to drive to the site one must come off the ferry in Gozo and drive up the hill for about half a mile or so. Look for a rehabilitation centre on the right of the road opposite a small bakers shop - you'll probably drive past it before you realise and have to turn round again. You should be able to see a small signpost pointing off the main road to the left marking the way to the wrecks so you will turn into a residential side street opposite the rehabilitation centre. Once off the main road take the first right then second left onto a steep concrete road down towards the sea. BEWARE - this concrete road appears to go hard left down to the sea but if you get it wrong at this point you will end up in a ploughed field with no way out so take care!!! At the bottom of the hill is the carpark where you should find an information plate which details the wreck's history and the bearing to swim along with the same info for the other two wrecks at this site sunk only very recently. So you have the Karwela, the Cominoland and the Xlendi to go at all within a few minutes swim of the entry point. Thank you Malta!
Martin Frankcom BSAC AI 370 | Contributed: 01/10/2007
We dived this site in August 2008, we were actually heading for the Karwella but their were so many divers in that direction our guide decided to take us right towards the Xlendi. It is basically a huge upside down ship at about 40m. You cannot see a great deal beyond the shape of the ship and the propeller. However there was a nice little squid when we got back to the shallows that was happy to be photographed.
Anna Wright Advanced Open Water Diver | Contributed: 31/10/2008
I first dived this wreck soon after it went down. It was an odd feeling swimming along the car deck at 42 metres with the 'road' above your head. There was plenty of light as there were big windows every few yards but I couldn't help thinking about the engine hanging upside down above me. One of my companions had been up into the canteen earlier that week and offered to take us up there but we all declined. Since then I've been back a couple of times but now it's a very different story. The superstructure has all but disappeared and the only way in is via a small hole at the furthest extreme away from the entry site. I had a quick look in and didn't like what I saw so came out immediately. If you were going to penetrate this wreck you should find someone with detailed local knowledge and employer proper low viz penetration techniques. The wreck has become rather uninteresting now due to depth, lack of access and lack of fish life. What needs to happen is that holes should be cut at various points on the hull. I've never seen any warning signs on this wreck but that's probably because they're decorating the wall of someone's garage. I wish I had got around to writing this some time ago.
Jef Proudfoot BSAC Dive Leader | Contributed: 18/02/2008
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