On the evening of June 16, at the beautiful Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta, one of the most representative places in the capital of Malta, a ceremony was held to commemorate the 74th anniversary of the sinking of the escort destroyer ORP Kujawiak and the loss of thirteen Polish crew members.
The ceremony was attended by members of the international expedition to the wreck of the Polish ship, a team of students from the United States who are studying underwater archeology, residents of Valletta, and a group from the local Polish community.
It should be remembered that, in June of 2015, a marble plaque was unveiled at the Upper Barrakka Gardens during the solemn celebration of the 73rd anniversary.
The plaque, commemorating the tragic events that took place during World War II, was sponsored by the Shipwreck Expedition Association members who discovered and first explored the wreck of Kujawiak.
The first speaker during this year’s intimate gathering was Mariusz Borowiak, author of the book Underwater Hunters: The Secret of the Wreck of the Escort Destroyer ORP Kujawiak, who welcomed those gathered and thanked them for their participation in the event. A prayer was given for the fallen sailors.
The writer reminded those in attendance of the tragedy that befell the ship and her crew.
Mariusz’s address was followed by words from Peter Wytykowski, diver and the first man to explore the wreck of Kujawiak, and Dr. Timmy Gambin, Senior Lecturer in the Department of Classics and Archaeology of the University of Malta.
A wreath and floral bouquets were laid at the table beneath the plaque by expedition and community members.
Following the official part of the ceremony, those in attendance shared a symbolic glass of wine. The divers shared stories and memories with the guests and answered questions about their achievements and their future plans of wreck discovery and exploration.