U.S. Navy’s 1945-Vintage Submarine Ship, USS Kittiwake Comes To Rest In Cayman Islands To Create Artificial Reef

By on Jan 7, 2011 in Current Events, United States, World Comments

The decommissioned 1945-vintage submarine rescue ship of the U.S. Navy has been scuttled Wednesday to sink it in the waters off the Cayman Islands, several news sites reported.

According to reports, the Ministry and Department of Tourism partnered with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) seven years ago with the idea for a new dive attraction to stimulate tourism.

The 47-foot tall military vessel has been sunk at a depth of 62 feet (19 meters), on the north end of Grand Cayman‘s world famous Seven Mile Beach, with hopes that the vessel will attract divers and fish.

The USS Kittiwake is a 5-deck Chanticleer-class submarine rescue ship with lots of rooms such as the air bank storage, recompression chamber, engine room and dive locker for divers and snorkelers to explore.

Reports said that the U.S. Navy ship was successfully sunk and settled upright as planned.

“It was just perfect execution, nice and even. She landed exactly where she was supposed to,” said project manager Nancy Easterbrook.

Meanwhile, as quoted from Scubadiving.com, “The Kittiwake was selected for the reefing project due to her size and height being suitable for Cayman waters, as well as her overall weight, being a very heavy, solid steel ship with 18 bulkheads. This type of ship will have the longest life underwater and will be less susceptible to break-up and damage due to storms.”

The USS Kittiwake was said to be opened to the public on Friday.

The video of the sinking U.S. Navy USS Kittiwake in Grand Cayman Islands witnessed by about 40 boats carrying locals and tourists. Video credit to YouTube user OceanFrontiers

Another video of the U.S. Navy Kittiwake underwater. Video credit to YouTube user OceanFrontiers

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