Um El Faroud wreck splits apart
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Um El Faroud wreck splits apart

A diver swims by the Libyan tanker Um El Faroud which split in two during recent sea storms.

A diver swims by the Libyan tanker Um El Faroud which split in two during recent sea storms.

The wreck of the Libyan tanker Um El Faroud, lying in 30 metres of water off Wied Iz-Zurrieq, has split into two sections, right across the middle, as a result of recent rough seas, divers have reported.

The front and back of the ship are now separate and slightly apart, enough to allow a couple of divers to swim through, said the divers, who were taking part in the British Airways Club/Atlam Subacqua Club Underwater Photographic Competition.

Before the recent storms, the ship's sides were slightly cracked, probably as a result of the blast on board the vessel which killed nine dock workers and injured a number of others on February 3, 1995. The explosion on the deck of the Libyan tanker happened when it was undergoing repairs at Malta Drydocks.

In 1998, the Um El Faroud was removed from Dock 3 and scuttled at Wied Iz-Zurrieq.

The competition, held at Wied Iz-Zurrieq, was won by Mario and Maryanne Micallef for the Atlam Subacqua Club. Second came Tom Cowan for the British Airways Subacqua Club. Guzi Azzopardi and Graziella Buttigieg from Atlam placed third.

Victor Fabri and Antida Muscat from Atlam won the digital camera section of the competition.

Competitors had to submit three slides showing the underwater environment. The digital photography section was held for the first time this year.

British Airways Subacqua Club members have been participating in the competition for the last 33 years.

The competition was sponsored by Anchor Diving Systems of St Paul's Bay, St Andrew's Diving Cove of Gozo, Nader Bassily of Power Centre Ltd, Bir id-Deheb and the Federation of Underwater Activities of Malta.

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