7 miles outside the entrance of Valletta Grand Harbour. The wrecks co-ordinates are of N 35’ 51.454 // E 014’ 36.308
Access: Boat Dive
Depth: 43 - 63 metres
Sea Bed: Sand
Interests: Wreck Dive
Certification Required: Tec divers or very experienced divers.
You can come across very strong currents and it is advisable not to dive this wreck when there are currents.
The wreck is found on her port site at an angle of 45 degree. The upper starboard is found on 43 metres, where there are two deck canons one on the bow side and the other on the stern side of the wreck. The wreck of Le Polynesien is 152 metres in length and a gross tonnage of 6659. It carried 172 passengers in first class, 71 passengers in second class, 109 passengers in third class and 234 ‘rationnaires’. It is still intact, apart the engine room, which has been damaged by the torpedo. During the dive we can find big groupers and dentex.
The Polynesien was built for "La Compagnie des Messageries Maritimes" at La Ciotat in France like her sister ships "Australien", "Armand Behic" and "Ville De La Ciotat". The ships were quickly recognisable by their length, low profile on the water, and by their double funnels painted black. The ships were painted white between 1895 till 1905. Le Polynesien was launched on the 18th April 1890 by Marie Francois Sadi Carnot, President of the Republic of France.
In 1891 she started operating between France and Australia, through the Suez Canal. In 1903 they changed her route and operated between France and the Far East mainly transporting passengers to the French Colonies. In 1914 it operated towards Australia and New Caledonia, before being dispatched back to Europe. On the 10th August 1918 she was hit by a Torpedo from the U Boot UC22 and 10 people lost their lives.