Wednesday, 19 October 2016

The P29 Patrol Boat Malta

The P29 Patrol Boat Malta


East Germany

The minesweeper was laid down on 8 October 1969 at Peenewerft shipyard in Wolgast. She was launched on 22 May 1970 and commissioned on 19 September of that same year. She was the eighteenth ship to be built within the Kondor I class, and was named Boltenhagen after the town of the same name in Rostock. She was used to patrol the river banks between East and West Germany, as well as a minesweeper.


After the reunification of Germany, the minesweeper was decommissioned along with most of the Kondor I-class. However, it was then used as a patrol vessel by the German federal cost guard. The name Boltenhagen was retained but she was given the pennant number BG31.The ship's guns were dismantled, the radio and radar equipment was changed, and it was repainted. BG31, the last Kondor-I in the German Coast Guard, was decommissioned on 30 June 1996.


The former minesweeper was then purchased by Malta on 24 July 1997 and was given the pennant number P29. She rejoined her sister ships Ueckermünde and Pasewalk which were purchased by Malta back in 1992 and were given the pennant numbers P30 and P31. P29 became a patrol boat within the offshore comandof the Maritime squadron armed forces of Malta. Since the former minesweepers were purchased unarmed, some light armament was then added by the AFM.
P29 was then used to secure the Maltese coast against smuggling and border control operations. She was decommissioned in 2004 and was bought by the Malta Tourism Authority in September 2005. She was cleaned and then was scuttled on 14 August 2007 off the port of Cirkewwa to serve as a diving site and artificial reef.


The wreck now lies at a depth of around 35 metres but the entire dive may be done at 25 metres. The highest point is situated only 12 metres deep from the surface. Since it was quite recently sunk compared to the MV Rozi and other already started settling on the former patrol boat.
Dennis O’Hare, an experienced Scottish diver, died while diving on this wreck in November 2010.
In 2013, P29 was listed among the "10 Most Incredible Sunken Ships on Earth" by Amazing Beautiful World, although this list has been disputed.

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