Stormy weather shuts nearly all of Malta’s beaches

Malta’s emergency services have urged swimmers to stay away from the sea during this week’s stormy weather.

Strong winds have whipped up the waves in Marsalforn Bay, Ramla Bay, Mellieha Bay, St Paul’s Bay, Sliema, Valletta and Marsascala.

Dozens of yachts and small boats were wrecked in Xemxija Bay after they were smashed into rocks by the incredible force of the sea.

Double red warning flags are also flying at nearly all of Malta’s most popular bathing spots, apart from Xlendi Bay, Riviera Bay, Golden Bay and Paradise Bay.

The flags mean the water is closed to swimming, as conditions are too dangerous for even the strongest swimmers.

The Malta Red Cross said: ‘We strongly advise the public to avoid going to the beaches in Sliema, Mellieha, Qawra, Marsascala, Birzebbuga and Bugibba.

‘Whilst other beaches may be a safer alternative please do follow instructions given by our lifeguards.’

Meanwhile, the Emergency Response Rescue Corps, which provides the lifeguard service in Gozo and Comino, said double red flag warnings were in force at a number of popular swimming spots.

They include:

  • Blue Lagoon, Comino
  • St Mary’s Bay, Comino
  • Hondoq Bay, Qala
  • Ramla Bay, Xaghra
  • Marsalforn Bay

The Met Office in Luqa issued a yellow weather alert on Thursday morning, warning of ‘very strong winds across the Maltese Islands until 11pm’.

Gozo Channel said ferry services between Malta and Gozo were running to timetable on Thursday morning.

However, ferries are using the South Quay at Cirkewwa because of the windy weather conditions.

Photos: Nicholas Grech, Geoffrey Fisher

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