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Bristol Blenheim

Location Xorb L-Ghagin
Type Wreck (Aircraft)
Maximum Depth 42 metres
Entry & Exit Boat
Typical Marine Life Damsel Fish, Sea Bream, Moray Eel

On the 13th December 1941 five Blenheims from 18th squadron took off from Luqa airport to attack Argostoli Harbour, Kefelonia, Greece. One of them was the Z7858 Blenheim.

During their flight to the target they were attacked by a Macchi C200s, which prevented it from even reaching its objective. The bombers port engine was damaged causing the propeller to spin off. The Blenheim was left with smoke pouring from the destroyed engine and only about 30 metres above sea level; she continued towards Grand Harbour, then turned and headed south.

When a Maltese fishing boat was spotted just off shore, it was decided to ditch nearby. The Blenheim touched down tail first, despite its battering she remained intact and floated allowing the crew to escape, all three were quickly rescued. A Royal Air Force Sea Rescue launch went to the crash site after making sure the crew were safe, when they arrived the aircraft was still afloat, they attempted to tow it but before this could be achieved, Z7858 sank.

The Blenheim now lies on a sandy seabed surrounded by small reefs at a depth of 42m, less than a kilometre off Xorb L-Ghagin, in the south of Malta.

The dive starts from the fishing village of  Marsascala. A short boat ride later and you enter the water from the boat over the wreck. Descent is down a shot line placed by the skipper directly beside the wreck. From a depth of 20 metres the outline becomes clear and as you near the wreck more detail such as the landing gear and pilot's seat can be seen. Even with the depth of dive you have plenty of time to explore this small aircraft before returning to the surface for your boat ride back to shore.

Marsascala is situated 60 minutes drive from AquaVenture.


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