Warship reef for Grand Cayman

Ex-US military ship sent to the bottom as a diving attraction

Author: Pat
1st February 2012
 

Divers in the Cayman Islands can now explore the USS Kittiwake, which has been sunk as an artificial reef.

The decommissioned vessel is the first US military ship to be acquired by a foreign country.

Built in 1945, USS Kittwake is 250 feet long and was originally commissioned as a Chanticleer-class submarine rescue ship during World War II.

She also saw service in the Korean War and Vietnam. She was finally taken out of service in 1994.

Ahead of her scuttling as an artificial reef, the ship was stripped of hazardous waste materials and prepared appropriately for life as dive attraction.

The Kittiwake now rests in shallow water just at the north end of Grand Cayman’s world famous Seven Mile Beach.

Organisers say the site will “provide underwater enthusiasts of all skill levels with a new year-round diving destination that is both easy to access and a thrill to explore. “

USS Kittiwake joins the MV Captain Keith Tibbets, a Russian Frigate sunk off the coast of Cayman Brac in 1996, as one of the few artificial reefs in the Caribbean.

 
 
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