Scotscraig wreck


MV Scotscraig

Depth 21 meter

The MV Scotscraig, known also as Scot Craig and sometimes referred to as Popeye’s Barge, is a notable wreck dive site located in the northwest of Malta. This small British river ferry, which was later featured in the filming of the Popeye movie shot in Malta, found its final resting place at the seabed, becoming a fascinating site for scuba divers. Today, the MV Scotscraig lies at a depth of approximately 21 meters in an upright position on a seabed of sea grass, shingle, and sand, about 500 meters northwest from Anchor Bay in an inlet named Ic-Cumnija. The wreck has become an interesting site for divers, offering the opportunity to explore both above and below the main deck. Despite its breakdown, the steel hull remains relatively intact, and the ferry is home to a variety of marine life, including moray eels, conger eels, groupers, octopuses, and occasionally stingrays. Visibility at the site is variable and can be quite low in adverse weather conditions, making it a unique dive site for those interested in exploring maritime history underwater​​​​.

The Scotscraig’s shallow depth makes it an ideal dive site for all levels, including less experienced divers, and serves as a perfect location for a second boat dive. The site is home to a wide variety of marine life, including moray eels, conger eels, groupers, octopuses, and occasionally stingrays. However, divers should note that visibility at this site may not be as clear as at other locations around the Maltese islands and can significantly decrease in bad weather.

The MV Scotscraig has a rich and varied history that spans from its construction to its final days sunk near Malta. Built in 1951 by the Caledon Shipbuilding & Engineering Company in Dundee, Scotland, for the Dundee Harbour Trust, the MV Scotscraig served as a passenger and vehicle ferry, operating the Tay Ferry Service between Dundee and Newport-on-Tay in Fife. Designed to carry up to 6 cars alongside passengers across the Firth of Tay, the ferry was part of the daily life of the area, known for its punctual and reliable service.

Named after a place near Tayport in Fife, the MV Scotscraig represented a significant part of the local maritime infrastructure until 1966 when the Tay Road Bridge was opened, marking the end of the ferry service. On the opening day of the road bridge, the MV Scotscraig and her sister ship, the MV Abercraig, were sold to Malta. The MV Abercraig would eventually be scrapped, but the Scotscraig found a new lease on life in the film industry.

The ferry was utilized as a supply barge and filming vessel for the 1980 musical comedy film “Popeye,” starring Robin Williams. Shot in nearby Anchor Bay, the film’s set is still in place and has been transformed into a theme park known as Popeye Village. After the film’s production, the MV Scotscraig served as a  barge and breakwater during the construction of the concrete jetty at Anchor Bay. However, while being towed to a new location in bad weather, the Scotscraig took on water, broke its tow lines, and sank, likely in 1981.



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  • Heritage Malta