Addu City, Maldives – The dive event held to mark the 75th anniversary of the British Loyalty wreck has been held with grand pomp and celebrations at Addu City on Tuesday.
The event kickstarted at 09:00 with high profile individuals participating in the inaugural ceremony held at Maradhoo harbour, including the Minister of Tourism of Maldives, Dr. Abdullah Mausoom, Mayor of Addu City, Abdullah Sodiq, as well as 75 divers from Addu and Fuvahmulah City.
After the inaugural ceremony, participants traveled to the dive site by dhoanis, which was also attended by Minister Mausoom, who however, did not dive at the site. After a short ten minute dive at the site, all participants returned to mainland, which marked the end of the event for the day.
According to the event organizers, NalaFehi Meedhoo, the event was initially planned to be held with 75 British divers. However, due to the pandemic, plans had to be changed to include 75 local divers instead. The event was held in collaboration with Addu City Council, local dive centers, resorts, guesthouses, clubs, as well as media and other promotional organizations of Addu City.
The British Loyalty shipwreck is popular diving destination in Addu City, and according to Maldives boat club, the ship survived torpedo attacks on 2 separate occasions but was scuttled by the British as they withdrew from the Atoll in 1946.
Now the ship lies 33 meters under water between the islands Maradhoo and Hithadhoo. The site is easily accessible by boat, as it is less than 25 minutes away even from Gan.
The ship is covered with hard and soft corals that are home to a large number of small fishes. It is also surrounded by groups of fishes, including blue-fin jack and turtles that swim around the ship. At times, the divers also find Manta rays and sharks around the Loyalty ship.