Kittiwake sunk

Check out video of the sinking!

After several false starts at getting the former USS Kittiwake to the Cayman Islands, the vessel began its journey to the bottom of the sea Wednesday. 

At 11.30am, water was being pumped into cutouts made in the ship’s hull. Once those reach the waterline the Kittiwake will begin sinking faster. Just after 2pm, the craft was sinking low into the water.

It was shortly before 3pm Wednesday that the soon-to-be wreck dive site went completely below the waves, according to observers. 

For updates on the sinking please check out twitter @compasspointky. 

Tuesday’s sinking was delayed at her sinking site off West Bay Public Beach because winds of 15 knots were too high to allow for the process 
to go ahead. But the dedication ceremony of the vessel went off without a hitch on Monday.

Representatives of the public and private sectors were on board Kittiwake to hear speeches from some of those who had been involved with the groundbreaking tourism project.

Following the singing of the national song by Shameca Clarke, Felix Manzanares led the attendees in a prayer.

Cayman Islands Tourism Association president Harry Lalli then made a short speech in which he said that the project had been an eight-year one and the dedication of all those involved had made the dream come true.

Tribute paid

Representing the government, Cline Glidden of the Ministerial Council for Tourism, said it was a successful partnership between private industry and the Cayman Islands government and he paid tribute to those who had come on board with financial and other help. He expressed his hopes that the partnership between the public and private sectors would continue to flourish and praised the hard work and persistence shown by everyone involved.

“[Initially, project leader Nancy Easterbrook] had asked for $500,000 but was told she could have $50,000 and would have to raise the rest. The private sector stepped up and raised the money…

“I would like to thank Nancy and Jay Easterbrook who have gone way beyond the call of duty to make sure that this happened,” said Mr. Glidden, who revealed he had recently attained his own dive certification.

Plaque unveiled

Mr. Glidden also welcomed Jon Gladstein, an ex-crew member of Kittiwake who was on board for the ceremony. Mr. Gladstein handed over the official Kittiwake flag to Mr. Glidden, who after two attempts smashed a champagne bottle on the vessel to mark the occasion. A plaque was also unveiled.

Stephen Broadbelt, a past president of the CITA, then thanked sponsors of the project which ranged from large organisations and companies to private individuals.

He added that sponsorship opportunities were still available to assist with the project’s continued running costs. He also thanked contractors, media and a host of other organisations who had put in their expertise, time and energy into the complex project, which he said would add significantly to the tourism product of the Cayman Islands for decades to come.

For more information on sinking events and the latest updates, continue to check


Photo: Joe Shooman


  1. Lets see at 10 a.m. most people are working, and the kids are in school!

    Can someone explain to me how this can be a memorable and educational event?! What happened to the weekend?! And please dont say government dont got the money for this one-time-event!!!

  2. LOL!!!!!

    No doubt, Bodden.

    Who was the genius that came up with this date time?

    Years of planning, and they didnt have the common sense to do this on a weekend?????


    Oh well. Back to the fireworks and bouncy castles.


  3. Bottom-line is this ship is now in its final resting place. Which is good, its all good. Time to get in the water and watch the magic. Focus on the positive and suppress the negative. Its all good. Spread the Karma.

  4. Do you really think that the sinking was planned for a weekday? The sinking WAS planned for the weekend past. The ship arrived Dec 25 and you will remember that the weather caused the ship to go to Spotts and cost 3 days of time. As soon as the Kittiwake could come into Port, the sinking crew workly tirelessly day and night to try and make the next weekend. The complexitities of the final cutting and ballasting her took time. Now another Nor Western is coming in tomorrow, so there was little choice with the ship full of holes but to get her to the sinking site and get her down; she coudl nto go back to Spotts, nor stay in the Port. Respectfully, this was not planned on a weekday, and all options possible were attemtped to communicate and let people see on the live feed, twitter, facebook, and the kittiwake website.

  5. As an ex-pat with over forty years of owning property on SMB and as someone who first started diving with Bobby in the late 1960s, I say CONGRATULATIONS to Nancy (and her sponsors) for making this happen. Well done!

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