Wreck Dive, Cirkewwa, Malta
History of the P29
The minesweeper was laid down on 8 October 1969 at Peenewerft shipyard in Wolgast. She was launched on 22 May 1970 and commissioned on 19 September 1970. She was the 18th ship to be built within the Kondor I class, and was named "Boltenhagen". She was used to patrol the river banks between East and West Germany, as well as a minesweeper.
After the reunification of Germany, the minesweeper was decommissioned along with most of the Kondor I-class. She was then used as a patrol vessel by the German Federal Coast Guard. The name "Boltenhagen" was removed and now given the pennant number "BG31". The ship's guns were dismantled, the radio and radar equipment was changed, and it was then repainted. BG31, the last Kondor-I in the German Coast Guard, was decommissioned on 30 June 1996.
The former minesweeper was then purchased by Malta on the 24th July 1997 and was given the pennant number "P29". She rejoined her sister ships "Ueckermünde" and "Pasewalk" which were purchased by Malta back in 1992 and were given the pennant numbers P30 and P31. P29 became a patrol boat within the Offshore Command of the Maritime Squadron of the Armed Forces of Malta. Since the former minesweepers were purchased unarmed, some light armament was then added by the AFM.
P29 was then used to secure the Maltese coast against smuggling and border control operations. She was decommissioned in 2004 and was bought by the Malta Tourism Authority in September 2005. She was cleaned and then was scuttled on 14 August 2007 off the port of Ċirkewwa to serve as a diving site and artificial reef.
She now lies on a sand bed at 34m. At the bow, you could reach 37m in the sand
The Machine Gun
When they scuttled the P29 they left the bow machine gun in place and serves as one of the most popular attractions amongst her visitors. Many divers around the world have posed for their picture, stood ‘firing’ the turret-mounted gun on this wreck.
Penetrating The Wreck
Interesting sights on the wreck include the machine gun aft, the radar tower, the bridge and the cargo holds. There are plenty of interesting swim-throughs, though these often feature very tight quarters, so only experienced divers should attempt exploration. Swim throughs can start from mid wreck all the way through to the bow. A torch is required for penetration as there is minimal light present below deck.
You must be certified to dive to a depth of 30 meters to dive this site. We would also recommend Nitrox Diver.