HMS Maori

Wreck Dive, St Elmos Bay, Valletta, Malta

The HMS Moari  was a 1870 ton Tribal Class British Destroyer built in Govan, England in 1937. During the Early hours

On February 12th, 1942, it was moored at the entrance to Dockyard Creek, In the Grand Harbour of Valletta when a parachute flare dropped by the enemy aricraft became trapped in her foremast. Soon after the illuminated destroyer received a direct hit in her engine room. She was quickly abandoned and therafter her AFT magazine exploded.

The HMS Moari sank stern first causing the bow to rise and slowly filled with water to the point of sinking and blocking the entrance of Dockyard Creek. In 1945, she was then cut into two sections where the bow was floated and towed to St Elmos Bay. Her two forward guns were removed and re-mounted at Fort Ricasoli as shore battery guns during the Second World War.

During the years the wreck has taken some hard hits from the weather. A storm in early 2019 has caused tremendous damage to the wreck, which has made the wreck impenetrable, to divers.

The wreck lies on a sandy bottom of a max 15m and shallowest section being 8m. This wreck cannot be entered but great to observe around it.

The Bridge

The bridge sits proudly on the top of the wreck and allows divers the opportunity to see loads of marine life and underwater fauna. If you are into your photography, make sure you spend some time here.

Aquatic life

Due to the wreck being in shallow waters, there is an abundance of marine life to look out for. the sandy white bottom is the perfect place to find cuttlefish, flying gurnards, sea horses, moray eels, octopus, slipper lobsters, flat fish and you will always find nudibranchs along the wreck itself

The wreck is covered with green weed and tube worms, shoals of salema fish, sea breams and cardinal fish swimming around the upper structure, the many cracks and crevasses offering sanctuary to octopus and scorpion fish. There are plenty of hermit crabs around and fire worms.

Experience Needed

You must be certified to dive to a depth of 18 meters to dive this site, as such we would require a minimum of Open Water Diver certification. We would also recommend being a Nitrox  Diver.


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