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The worst peacetime tragedy suffered by the AFM (Armed Forces of Malta) occurred on September 7, 1984. An explosion onboard the Swift-class patrol boat C23 (later ne-named P23) killed seven people. P23 remained in service until 2010 and the AFM retained the patrol boat as a memorial. A monument was built at Xatt it-Tiben soon after the tragedy, and a new one was unveiled in 2009 on the 25th anniversary. The Maritime Museum of San Diego has another memorial to those killed in the tragedy near P23's (PCF 813) sister ship P24 (PCF 816) which is preserved in the museum.
Patrol Craft Fast (PCF), also known as Swift Boats, were all-aluminum, 50-foot (15 m) long, shallow-draft vessels operated by the United States Navy. Its initial duties included patrolling the coastal areas of South Vietnam. Its later duties included working in the interior waterways as part of the brown-water navy to prevent Vietcong movement of arms and munitions, transport Vietnamese forces and insert SEAL teams for counterinsurgency (COIN) operations during the Vietnam War.