The most recent ship to become an artificial reef / wreck around Malta’s waters is the Tug Boat 2. It is located off the shore in Sliema, round Exiles area. The tugboat was officially working within the Grand Harbour of Valletta.
In June of 2013 she was scuttled, forming an attraction and artificial reef for everyone to enjoy. Lying upright, it is positioned at 22m deep and 25m north from where the diver’s entry point is located. The wrecks specifications have it at 9.5m 30m in length not including the mast. In October of 2016 there was a strom which moved the Tug 2 from it’s original position which was parallel to the reef on the sand, about 20m in distance. It is now smahsed up into the reef, bow first.
On a positive note, the wreck is very much penetrable, since it was sunk after all the damaging elements of the boat were removed. One can swim through the wheelhouse and the engine room. It is quite the interesting wreck!
It is one of the few wrecks around Malta that is at a shallow depth which is great for all levels of diving with easy access to it. Other shallow wrecks like the Tug 2 are the HMS Maori in Valletta and the X127 which is located near Manoel Island. Great for navigation and dive lead training, and makes for a great night wreck dive.
Built by the Malta Drydocks for the Chinese Government in 1975, the Tug Boat 2 weighed in at 141 tons, 30m in length with a 7.5m beam and 15.24m in height which includes the mast. It was originally named Tuo Lun Er Hao and was registered in Teintsin, China. However, her working life had still been spent in Malta. The Tug 2 and her sister had worked together building Dock No. 6. It was called the China Dock Project, which was part-financed by the Chinese Government.
The names of both the Tug 2 and her sister were changed from their Chinese names and renamed to Tug 1 and 2.
Interest – Reef & Wreck
Popularity – High
Depth – 15m (avg), 25m (max)
Qualification – Advanced
Shore access – Easy
Location – 35.9211°N 14.4991°E (Approx)