Going, going, gone. Cayman’s most famous shipwreck, the USS Kittiwake, was pushed further on its side as storm swells swept through the Seven Mile Beach marine park over the weekend.
The wreck was left positioned at a 45-degree angle after being tipped over in rough conditions associated with Hurricane Nate earlier this month. With Tropical Storm Philippe bringing swells from a similar direction this weekend, dive industry leaders feared the wreck could be pushed onto a nearby coral reef.
In reality, the weekend weather may have made the wreck and the reef more secure, said Jason Washington of Ambassador Divers and iDive blog.
Mr. Washington, who swam out to the site to survey it Sunday, said it was now lying on its side in the sand. He said it did not appear to have damaged the coral as it shifted position once again.
“As she has heeled over on her port side, she has started to fill with sand. She has more surface area on the sea floor and is actually a lot more stable. It is going to take a massive storm to move that ship now.”
As with all shipwrecks, he said, the weather would have its way with the Kittiwake over time, slowly revealing different sides of the wreck and creating different opportunities for divers and photographers.
“What we will witness now is the slow deterioration of the wreck and eventually she will make her way down to a debris field. The moment she went under water, she started her journey of returning to the earth, molecule by molecule.
“It is exciting to witness the changing faces of the Kittiwake. We have seen three changes in the last few months and we will see more.”
He said the main concern was to protect the reef at the neighboring Sand Chute dive site.