Kittiwake on the way to Cayman

The ex-USS Kittiwake has begun her journey
to Cayman.

The 251-foot vessel is under tow and left
Norfolk, Virginia on Thursday, 16
December.

There had been unavoidable delays due to the
weather conditions but light winds and seas made it possible for the ship to
embark on its journey.

Excited at
the news of the vessel’s departure, Kittiwake project manager Nancy Easterbrook said:
“Yahoo!”

Getting the Kittiwake undertow finally is a momentous occasion.
After so many
years of a very complicated project, having the Kittiwake depart Norfolk with a
clear weather window to start the tow is extremely exciting news!With over 1,000
people employed in the water sports industry, this is going to be a great boost
to local businesses with a new water-based tour to take visitors to and an
awesome experience for residents living here. I think that most everyone is very
excited and we are praying for fair winds and following seas for the next two
weeks.”

Mrs.
Easterbrook said plans for the vessel’s sinking off the West bay Public
Beach are on in high gear and the public can look forward to being part of what
will be an historic occasion.

Seven years
in the making, the Kittiwake is a project of the Ministry and Department of
Tourism in partnership with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association. The
Cayman Islands Government has provided considerable financial, regulatory,
marketing and administrative support to the project. CITA has provided financial and project management support and will be managing the
Kittiwake’s dive site, once the vessel is sunk. A broad cross-section of CITA’s
membership has provided varying levels of sponsorship for the project.

The 5-deck,
2200-ton Kittiwake was originally commissioned as a Chanticleer-class submarine
rescue ship in the United States Navy in 1945 during World War II. After 50
years of service the Kittiwake was decommissioned in 1994.

Check for updates on the position of the vessel
here.

kittiwake

The Kittiwake leaves port in the US for the last time.
Photo: Submitted
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