Dates announced for USS Kittiwake Sinking in Grand CaymanIt will be an exciting week in Grand Cayman beginning July 24th! The Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) is pleased to confirm that the ex-USS Kittiwake , a US Naval Submarine Rescue Ship (ASR-13), which has been a work in progress for over seven years is going to be sunk this July. The project was spearheaded by CITA and supported and funded by both the Cayman Islands Ministry of Tourism, Finance, Investment and Commerce, the Department of Tourism, CITA and our many sponsors, has finally come to fruition.
The approaching week in the Cayman Islands will be filled with Kittiwake “Sinking Events”. To kick off the celebrations of this new attraction, an Island Elegant Gala Dinner will be held on Saturday, July 24th accompanied by a live and silent auction for highly coveted one of kind artifacts from the ship and memorable experiences such as the first dive or snorkel on the Kittiwake. . In addition to the attendance of Government Officials, local and overseas guests and media many Kittiwake ex-crew members and their family will add to the authentic experience throughout the evening.
Subject to weather and other factors beyond our control, public topside viewing of the ship will take place on Monday, July 26th from 9am to 2pm including a special dedication ceremony for invited guests on the Kittiwake ship from 4pm – 5pm. God Willing, the Sinking will occur the following day on Tuesday, July 27th between 10am and 1pm. Spectators will be able to view from a distance. On Wednesday, July 28th the new Cayman Kittiwake Wreck Attraction will be closed for safety inspections and final preparations. The following day, Wednesday, July 29th between 9am and 11am the first dive, snorkel and semi-sub trip will take place.
Stay tuned to our newly launched website www.KittiwakeCayman.com for more details and updates!
The ex-USS Kittiwake began as a dream to add another tourism product to the Island for divers and snorkelers offering more diversity and interest to those who have come to love Cayman. Although it has been long awaited it could not have come at a better time considering the economy is still set at mediocre levels; the excitement and hype from international media attention will be very welcomed!
The sinking of a vessel such as this has far reaching benefits other than just the economic impact by gaining another tourism attraction. Preserving the historical maritime history of a ship which protected its nation for decades fits in well with Cayman’s long maritime history and motto…“He hath founded it upon the seas”. The preservation of this ship underwater will last for many, many decades, prolonging her life versus the option of scrapping a decommissioned ship.
From an environmental perspective the new Kittiwake shipwreck is creating yet another habitat for marine life in the Cayman Islands. “The Kittiwake shipwreck attraction may assist in diversifying the product offering in order to reduce the environmental impact on Stingray City and other frequented reefs by cruise ship traffic and stay-over guests for dive and snorkeling” says Ms. Nancy Easterbrook CITA Project Manager and past CITA Board Member. The seven plus year project has had many obstacles with ‘goal lines’ constantly evolving as new laws and regulations relating to artificial reefing came into play. The CITA has ensured that the all precautions were strictly followed to ensure hazardous materials, paint, lubricants, oils and fuels were removed prior to sinking to ensure there would be no harm to Cayman marine life or waters.
For more information about this upcoming underwater shipwreck attraction in the Cayman Islands please visit www.kittiwakecayman.com.