Divesite MV Karwela

Full view of MV Karwela underwater

Full length image of the MV Karwela shipwreck from bow to stern

​MV Karwela Wreck, Gozo, Malta

​The MV Karwela was launched as M/S Frisia II in 1957. During 1977 she was named the “Nordpaloma” and transferred to Malta in 1986. She then sailed for Comino Marina LTD until around 2002 under her present name MV Karwela. The MV Karwela ferry measures 50.31 meter by 8.50 meter and was designed to carry 863 passengers.

The ferry was scuttled as an artificial reef for scuba divers in Xatt L-Ahmar, Gozo along with MV Cominoland on 12th August 2006. Normally dived from the shore, she is a short swim strait out from the entry point. Her bows rest in 39 meters. Shortly after sinking, a VW car adorned with graffiti and pink carpet wheel arches was also sunk onto the wreck.

Even though the wreck is a deep dive, the clear water and strong light of the Mediterranean allows shooting both underwater still photographs and video.

The wreck is becoming a haven for fish life, and the marine growth of sea squirts, sponges, hydroids and bryozoans on the superstructure provides a rich habitat for several species of nudibranch.

After leaving the wreck, head north back onto the reef and ascend to the rock plateau between 10m and 6m. You should have plenty of time to explore the rock gullies for macro subjects if that is how you are set-up, or to use the shallow water to try some different diver portraits.

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Rob Smith ARPS

Rob has the magic touch with underwater photography – his transformational images of plankton-rich Scottish waters in 1991 made him an Associate of the Royal Photographic Society. Building on his two passions of scuba diving and photography he became a Freelance Photographer and PADI instructor and lived in Gozo, Malta from 2003 before moving back to Scotland at the end of 2017. Rob’s talent at photography is not confined to the underwater world. He is also an accomplished portrait photographer, and he also shares his local knowledge of the landscape and seascapes during his photo walks.