Exploring the Tugboat 2 Shipwreck
‘Tug 2,’ also known as the Tugboat 2 Shipwreck, is situated off the northeastern coast of Malta near Exiles in Sliema. Its intentional scuttling off Exiles in Sliema was a thoughtful decision, transforming it into an artificial reef to support marine ecosystems and offer a captivating experience for divers.
- Suitable for: Open Water+
- Depth: 5m – 21m
- Points of Interest: The wreck
- Entry/Exit: Easy
The Tugboat 2, a heavyweight at 141 tons, spans 30 meters in length and 7.5 meters in width.
Built in Malta in 1975 for the Chinese government, Tugboat 2 played a vital role alongside its sister ship in the ambitious Dock 6 project. This significant project, referred to as the China Dock project, unfolded in French Creek within the Grand Harbour of Valletta. Years later, it found its way to the hands of Bezzina Marine services, a Malta-based company, where it patiently sat in shipyards for a dozen years. In 2013, a collaborative effort between the Professional Diving Schools Association and the Malta Tourism Authority paved the way for planning permission to scuttle the tugboat off the reef at Exiles in Sliema.
Upon entering the water and descending to 3 metres, you begin a 17 minute swim to reach the wreck. This portion of the dive is great for spotting marine life such as Moray Eels, Octopus & Breams. Once you reach the wreck, the bottom has gradually sloped to a maximum depth of 20 metres. Tugboat 2 sits upright on the sandy bottom, offering a captivating underwater spectacle. Divers begin their wreck exploration by passing over the main deck, gradually making their way towards the bow. The bridge section comes into view, featuring openings on either side and inviting passageways, enticing divers to explore its top section.
The dive promises a rich tapestry of marine life. Various habitats, including sand, sea grass, and the wreck itself, host a diverse array of underwater creatures. Cuttlefish, Flabellina nudibranchs, Scorpion Fish, and large shoals of Salpa fish, and Wrasse add vibrant hues to this submerged canvas.
The Tugboat 2 Shipwreck is a fun wreck to dive and is still very intact. The underwater swim to and from the wreck makes this more than just a wreck dive. Some divers prefer a larger cylinder due to the distance you need to cover to reach the wreck.