P31 – Comino

Navigation: South from Cominotto in the middle of the bay.

Access: Boat Dive

Depth: 16 metres

Visibility: Good and an ideal diving site when wind is blowing from the North West

Sea Bed: Sand

Interests: Wreck Dive

Certification Required: BSAC Ocean Diver, PADI Open Water or equivalent

The Dive: (information from http://www.subwayscuba.com/divesubway/comino_p31.html )

WRECK –  P31  Kondor-I Class Patrol Boat – Builders VEB Peenewerft, Wolgast

P31 ready to be scuttled 24th August 2009

Location : South West side of Comino Island Approximate Coordinates 36° 00′.575N – 014° 19′.420E

The P31 ex-Pasewalk, (Gs05, ex-G423) was Laid down on 12th December 1968, Launched on the 18th June 1969 and was in service till 18th October 1969. The P30 & P31 were acquired by the Armed Forces of Malta in 1992 and spent 12 years patrolling our coastal waters. The P31 was the patrol boat that managed to save a record of 250+ migrants from drowning in one operation in 2002.

The P29 (Cirkewwa – Malta), & P31 were decommissioned by the Armed Forces and the Malta Tourism Authority bought the Patrol Boats to scuttle them as a scuba diving attraction enhancing Malta’s Scuba Diving Product. Same as the P29 the P31 was given to the Malta Marine Foundation to carry out the necessary preparation for these boats to be scuttled.

Two years and Ten days after the P29 was scuttled in Cirkewwa, the P31 met the same fate. It gracefully went down to its final resting place on 24th August 2009. Her new mission has now started; it will now become a home to an abundance of marine life on Comino Island.

P31 lies upright on a sandy bottom at a depth of 18-20 metres. The bow is 20 metres and the stern is 18m. Clearance from the surface is about 7 metres.

At this depth this wreck is excellent for: open water divers (as it is within their depth limits), the advanced divers and even for snorkellers as it can be seen from the surface through the crystal clear waters. The divers who did the check dive after the P31 went down, commented that shoals of damsel fish greeted them as they descended on the wreck.