Kittiwake marks six years as a dive destination

A diver checks out the Kittiwake.

Six years after its sinking, locals and visitors continue to flock to the USS Kittiwake wreck that lies in the waters off West Bay.

Since the ship’s carefully planned sinking on Jan. 5, 2011, the shipwreck and artificial reef remains ranked the number one thing to do in West Bay on the TripAdvisor travel ratings website, a press release from the Cayman Islands Tourism Association states.

According to the release, the Kittiwake wreck is the only dive site in the Cayman Islands that is regularly maintained. All commercial boats must be licensed from CITA to visit the site, and the licensing fees go toward the wreck’s maintenance. Snorkelers and divers are also required to wear wristbands and have dive tokens, respectively.

“Routine checks ensure the ship remains well preserved and the wildlife is thriving,” the release states.

“The greatest thing about the Kittiwake is it will only get better with time as the coral begins to develop.”

CITA recently partnered with the Department of Environment on a new Marine app which contains information on visiting the Kittiwake as well as relevant rules and regulations.

The app also has an incident reporting feature.

“The sinking of the Kittiwake has been a major success,” Rod McDowall said on behalf of Red Sail Sports Ltd.

“It is popular with our local and visiting divers, as well as with snorkelers visiting the Cayman Islands on the cruises, in addition to stay-over tourists.”
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