Peninsular & Oriental Steam Navigation Co.; 1911; Harland &Wolff; 12,431 tons; 550-4×62-9×34-4; lJ64n.h.p.; 9knots; quadruple-expansion engines.
The P. & O. liner Maloja, Commander. C. E. Irving, R.N.R., the largest ship in the company’s fleet, left London on Saturday, February 26th, 1916, for Bombay with 456 persons, of whom 121 were passengers.
On the 27th at about 10.30 a.m. she struck a mine two miles S.W. of Dover Pier and foundered in a very short time, taking with her 155 of those on board. The engines were reversed to take the way off the ship and enable the remaining boats to be lowered, but the engine room flooded and the engines could not be stopped. The
Maloja therefore continued to go astern for some time at eight or nine knots and with a list of some 75 degrees.
The Canadian freighter Empress of Fort William, 2,181 tons, Capt. W. D. Shepherd, endeavoured to render assistance, but was herself mined. The crew of this ship escaped without loss.
Diving: The wreck was heavily salvaged by Rigadon-Beasley and is very broken up now being little more than a large sand filled mound, however the top is at 18m and the sides only drop down 2m to a max depth of around 20m, there are areas to poke around in but overall it’s a very clean site and does make a very good dive for inexperienced divers and training dives.
The wreck is however only 2 miles out of Dover so can suffer from poor viz for a large part of the year.
More details can be found on the interesting web site:- http://www.ssmaloja.co.uk/default.asp