A 60m tanker that ran aground in Qawra last year could become a diving attraction in Gozo.

The Hephaestus was stranded on the rocks after a heavy storm during the feast of St Paul's Shipwreck and remained at Qawra point for six months before being removed.

However now there are plans to scuttle the 885-tonne vessel off the coast of Qala in Gozo, as an underwater attraction.

The Professional Diving Schools Association of Malta, Gozo and Comino (PDSA) have begun the planning application process for the operation, experienced wreck-diver Emi Farrugia told Times of Malta.

Mr Farrugia, a deep-sea diver and underwater filmmaker, said he assisted the PDSA's application. 

The area, Mr Farrugia said, is waiting to be surveyed appropriately, pending guidance by the Planning Authority.

“We hope to create a substantial diving experience,” he said.

If successfully scuttled, the wreck would not be far off from another three popular diving wrecks in the south east of Gozo, the MV Karwela, MV Xlendi and MV Cominoland.

The Hephaestus became something of an internet attraction in the six months that it was marooned on the Qawra coast, with tourists and locals a like often stopping to snap a perfectly posed picture near the vessel for social media.

In August 2018, Hephaestus was towed out to the Cassar Ship Repair yard in Marsa, however the vessel’s owners declined to move forward with the costly repairs that the severely damaged vessel would require.

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