On January 5th 2011 the USS Kittiwake was finally sunk off the west coast of Grand Cayman. It has been a long journey and 7 years of hard work to make it happen. The final voyage of the Kittiwake was fraught with bad weather and red tape delays. However once she was ready to go down and the water was pumped on board it took only 60 seconds for her to fall to the sandy sea bed. The sinking was broadcast live on the shipwreck’s website, where over 1300 people tuned in to watch it go down along with the multitude of onlookers from the beach and private boats.
The wreck sits in reasonably shallow water and is therefore great for both snorkelers and divers alike. A 2290 ton 251ft long submarine rescue vessel this new dive site has as many interesting features within 20ft of depth as it does in 50ft. Only one day after sinking and marine life is already settling in from snapper, jacks and juvenile sergeant majors to stingrays and eagle rays. Being a private dive site (a first in the Cayman Islands) all divers will receive a medallion and snorkelers a wrist band before being allowed on it. Having dived the Kittiwake already I can attest to it being great for photography, there are some great angles and interesting objects all over the place. It is also vast so expect to take more than just a few dives to experience it all and get that perfect photo.
For more images and information about the Kittiwake shipwreck visit the dive sites dedicated website. If you are wondering where to go diving this year, the Kittiwake may just have helped you decide.
(Teaser image by Elly Wray of Ocean Frontiers)