Wied iz Zurrieg

Wied iz Zurrieg

Wied iz Zurrieg

Wied iz Zurrieg is a small village on the south coast of Malta.  Popular with divers because of the Um el  Faroud tanker wreck.  Scuttled in 1998, three years after an explosion that killed nine dockworkers in Grand Harbour, a plaque was also erected in the dockyard to commemorate the lives of the fallen.

After a unsettling journey with a moderate easterly swell, the Um el Faroud came to rest at 35m on sand where you can see the 3,147 gross ton vessel, a single screw tanker, built in Middleborough, England in 1969.

The Dive

The dive site is normally referred to as the Blue Grotto, although the actual Blue Grotto is half a mile to the west of the inlet and can only be reached by the sea.  The entry/exit point can get very busy at peak times and the sea conditions must be checked for the currents can be hazardous.  Care must also be given to the ample tourist boats that are in the area, and the fisherman lines.

The wreck itself has been prepared for diving, with all doors and windows removed, and entrances and exit holes cut.  Do not stay too long, to ensure you can explore the reef on the return.  This is a great dive, suitable for experienced divers only, and using a 15l cylinder.

Weid iz Zurrieg – West Reef

Reached by the western side of the inlet, this site offers a number of different areas to explore.  With drop offs, ledges, gullies and boulders, all surrounded by sea grass and sandy areas, this is an amazing site.  It also has two caves, the walls of which are covered in a wide variety of brightly coloured corals and it also serves as home to many cardinal fish.  On the sea bed red mullet can be found in groups on the sandy/shingle areas.

The Dive

The entrance to the first cave can be found at 24m, and the second Bell Tower Cave at 26m.  You can also find a divers helmet plaque at 30m, placed there by BSAC Atlam Dive Club to commemorate fifty years of their club.

Look out for shoals of Cardinal fish at 10m, in crevices and overhangs.

Weid iz Zurrieg – East Reef

The single line reef goes 300-400m east of the entry point.  Starting with a large ledge, with depth of 9m to 16m, and with a max depth to the seabed of 36m, this is a great environment for seeing large shoals of fish; damselfish, red mullet, cardinal fish, moray eels, cuttlefish, wrasse, John Dory, scorpion fish, painted combers, and even seahorses have all been seen here.

Weid iz Zurrieg – night Diving

Weid iz Zurrieg is a great site for a night dive.  Great lighting on land, reef walls to navigate underwater, and a full moon makes this the perfect night dive site.