Cayman in new ‘news’ light

| 08/01/2011

(CNS): From the Los Angeles Times to Canada’s CBC, the sinking of the former USS Kittiwake generated significant media attention for the Cayman Islands far and wide. For once the international press spotlight was on the Cayman Islands for something completely unrelated to the movement of money or taxes. Wednesday’s historic event, which came at the end of many years of planning, was filmed, photographed, watched and written about by a range of global media outlets and television channels, which have now begun producing that copy, pictures and packages for their various print, online and TV outlets. The DoT noted that the coverage was invaluable to the whole of the country’s tourism product. (Photo Dennie Warren Jr)

"I’m excited that the International media has taken such great interest in this historic event," Acting Director of Tourism Shomari Scott said on Friday after the scuttling of the naval vessel began hitting the headlines. "We have been working hard behind the scenes to provide major networks, publications and media outlets with images and film of the sinking."

He added that the coverage on NBC TODAY alone reached more than 6 million viewers and the story was also picked up by other major television networks such as CNN and CBS.

“ is featuring the Kittiwake on the home page, which is another avenue that has the potential to reach many millions of viewers,” Scott added. “This kind of global coverage is invaluable to the Cayman Islands and our dive industry and is already translating into confirmed bookings. Dive operators are reporting that calls are pouring in about the Kittiwake and they are inundated with requests from divers, both locally and overseas, who want to dive her."

With leading newspapers in the US such as the Washington Post and the Los Angeles also covering the story, the scuttling of the Kittiwake was given optimum exposure in the United States. There was also coverage on the website of the UK’s leading broadsheet the Daily Telegraph, RT, a Russian news network broadcast the sinking, Pakistan’s Daily Times, ThirdAge, a website for baby boomer women, and even the Christian Science Monitor covered the story. With one of the world’s biggest news agencies, Associated Press, picking up the story, the news of the Kittiwake sinking spread to every corner of the world this week.

Dive enthusiast were able to start discovering for themselves on Saturday afternoon what this new attraction is all about as the site opened to the public for the first time. Licensed operators were finally able to take tours out to the new marine park after the attraction’s public opening had been slightly delayed owing to a nor’wester, which prevented safety work being completed on Thursday. Officials said, however, that the Kittiwake would close on Tuesday to complete the final maintenance work.

Over the coming weeks the wreck will settle further down and the seabed and nature will begin to work its magic as fish and marine creatures begin to make the old naval vessel home creating an artificial reef.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: Headline News

About the Author ()

Comments (28)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Michel Lemay says:

    Congratulations to all involved and speciallly Ms.Nancy. Many are to be congratulated for this positive event greatly needed at this time. It has come to my mind that no matter what good we try and accomplish, there will always be the negative ones. What a miserable life it must be to find fault at even something that is for the good of Cayman or anything for that matter. Yes it’s true that actions speak louder then words but it always depends how it’s said and specially why ? I find it better to do greater things with little or no  rewards at all then praise someone at the detriment of the other. I am really proud of ALL of you that were involved for the past 7 years and great post Mr.Adams.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Were I responsible for the successful deployment of this wreck into a sustainable location for the long term I would have serious concerns about the Kittiwake.

    The water is about 60 feet deep there and resting on its keel the Kittiwake is within feet of the surface. With so much shallow surface area exposed one can only wonder what a strong Northwesterner will do to this wreck.

    Until I saw its location and surface area I didn’t realize how big and exposed this wreck will be to the wave action and surge.

    The Doc Poulson has almost no surface area thus its ability to survive successfully in its present location.

    Someone must be worried.

    • Anonymous says:

      So, are you an expert on this sort of thing?  Negative criticism will get you nowhere after the fact.  Can’t you just be happy we have a new dive site and  try to think of the positive aspects tof theKittiwake being in shallow water (i.e. snorkelers can also enjoy the site) and leave it at that.  Time will tell as to the rest.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Wow that was a great news… but a SHAME TO LOCAL DIVERS THAT couldn’t be there appreciating it as we were all working.

    This event should be on a weekend, it was terrible to hear some people talking about it and not able to be there.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Yay! We finally did something great. Finally, there is something we are good at! Yay!

    We can sink a ship! Yay!

    Our children can’t read but we can sink a ship! Yay!



    • Anonymous says:

      You are disgusting

    • So typical says:

      Seriously? The negative posts on every single article that CNS posts (whether positive or not) are getting to be ridiculous. Why can’t people just be happy about something positive for a change, instead of thowing in some type of totally unrelated criticism. Times are hard right now, and there are many issues that Cayman is dealing with at present, so I’d expect that the one or two positive things happening would be celebrated and appreciated (almost like a breath of fresh air). The doom and gloom attitudes of many posters are enough to put a damper on anyone’s day who reads them. There’s so much more to life then bitter complaints.

      • Anonymous says:

        You are ridulous to applaud this nonsense as evidence of great wisdom from our government. Do you think they are care about dive tourism or ecotourism? If so, you don’t pay attention.

        Cayman’s elected officials of the last several years have done little to nothing to stop the rapid degradation of Grand Cayman’s marine ecosystem. In fact, their ignorant short-sighted development policies have helped destroy our coral reefs. You can’t blame them for global warming’s effect on our coral but you certainly have to blame them for not addressing local run off, sewage, and silt issues that have been known about for 30 years.

        Only a bunch of idiots would cheer because our government dumped an oldrust bucket into the sea. Yeah, I hope divers love ship wrecks because that’s all they’re going to have in a few short years. They sure won’t have coral ecosystems to enjoy for much longer.

        Yay! We sunk a ship! Yay! We can’t teach all our Caymanian children basic math and how to read but we can sink ships! Yay!

    • Anonymous says:

      You are a cynical person.  Would you know what is involved in safely sinking a ship as a dive site???  Guess what – it’s harder than learning to read and if your kids can’t, you can blame yourself.

  5. sophia says:

    Credit to whom credit is due. If this was under Alden and the PPM Administration, I am sure we wouldn’t had a vessel sunk to trigger revenue in the dive-tourism market. Not that kind of creativity. I must say, although some downfalls, more and more the UDP is debunking their critics. When the PPM was yes… Revenue increased, but spending too, and the following year when they had thought they would had made gains in Revenue, they lacked the forsight to see that the Global Recession would had put us into a crab hole. In 2008, the country was left with an 81 million dollar debt.

    All I got to say, you may judge, you may criticize all you want, and envy and jealousy may consume you, but … who has done more for these islands in terms of sustaining our economy?

    The "Actions speak Louder than Words"



    • Anonymous says:

      ha ha!  but are they doing their best?  are they looking out for Caymanians or the well-off???

    • Anonymous says:

      This project has been years in the making.  It was begun before the current administration.  But if you want to give them all the credit, you go right ahead.


    • Anonymous says:

      Based on the news reports here on CNS Iunderstand that this was a project of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association which had been in progress for the past 7 1/2 years. It was merely funded by the Government.  I also understand that this was done in the Brac in 1996. It therefore didn’t involve any "creativity" by the Government, UDP or PPM. No need to politicise it.

    • Anonymous says:

      You should get your facts straight before you show your ignorance.  This project was started when the PPM were in power.  Just cause it got finished when McKeeva is in power doesn’t give credit to the UDP. 

  6. Breadkind says:

    This is excellent coverage for the Cayman Islands. Very positive!!

    Well done DoT and CITA and all other agencies concerned.

  7. William H. Adam says:

    Politicians and tourism developers take note – it is back to the basics time for sustainable tourism!
    First it was the Callie and the Balboa, now added is the Kittiwake.
    Our people and our economically important natural environment are the foundation of our tourism product – PRODUCT CAYMAN.
    Conserve – preserve, keep, save, protect, enhance, love – our economically important natural environment, the beaches and marine environment in this case, and we will have what many other tropical destinations are losing, clean white sand beaches and clear waters. While others lose, if we conserve our natural environment then we will continue to get “eco tourism”, and the Cayman Islands have always been an eco tourism destination – what do you think is the source of beaches, Sand Bar, Stingray City, etc. etc. if not produced from natural environment sources – all are “eco tourism products”, nothing new here folks?
    We still have an opportunity to save our natural environment from further wanton destruction for short-term gain, which is occurring because we do not have a Development Plan or a National Conservation Law. This generation has an obligation to conserve the natural environment so that we do not take away this economic God given natural asset from future generations of Caymanians – to date; our generation has failed in our obligations.
    The worldwide coverage of the Kittiwake is a fantastic “Good News” story – it certainly seems to debunk the saying that the media do not report “Good News”! 
    The media just needs more true “Good News” stories to report and not the PR garbage and photo ops we too often see and hear.
    Now we must build on this good news, enact our first Development Plan and an effective enforceable National Conservation Law to ensure that all future generations can visit our beautiful “Isles Cayman” to enjoy our natural marine environment.  This will ensure a healthytourism economy generation after generation economically benefiting Caymanians.
    Congratulations to all involved in bringing the Kittiwake dream to reality, this is the type of basic sustainable tourism product, benefiting all of us, that truly enhances PRODUCT CAYMAN.
    William H. Adam
    • anonymous says:

      The fundamental problem Mr. Adam is that ever since we called tourism a PRODUCT it started to fail.
      Call it what it is, a SERVICE. We might have a chance to revive it if we think about what tourism really is!!

      • Anonymous says:

        I take your point but it is more than a service. For example a pristine environment formed part of our tourism product and cannot sensibly be called a service.   

  8. Devil's advocate says:

    Wow… this "good news story" doesn’t even attract any comments.   Hard to find anything to criticise the government about this one.  Isn’t there at least one conspiracy theory that we can blame on McKeeva?  Like maybe he made a secret deal with the US Navy by promising them they could use the North Sound as a submarine base in exchange for the Kittiwake?

    • LT says:

      Oh you trust me, they will find something wrong. They have alot of enemies, especially, certain individuals in the media and PPM party. However, the UDP are survivors. Two thumbs up for Mac with this one!

  9. Rod McDowall says:

    Well done to all involved in the project and subsequuent coverage. Invaluable PR and promotion with consequent economic benefit that will trickle down to all people involved in toursism: accommodations, restaurants, transport, watersports, supermarkets et all and everyone full and part time employed in them.

  10. Red Flag says:

    The coverage has been great.  I’d like to comment that all companies and personnel involved did a great job.  No one was hurt and the "Kittiwake" is now resting as she was hoped to rest, right side up.  Nancy Easterbrook is to be congratulated for her unrelenting efforts in the whole of the project and John MacKenzie and West Indian Marine, a local company, are to be commended for their onsite expertise and direction.  The crew of the tug "America" are to be thanked for their efforts in both bringing the "Kittiwake" down and their help in the sinking.  Congratulations to all. 

  11. Anonymous says:

    Imagine that. This just really goes to show how Mckeeva wasted $400,000 of the public purse for his so called "drumming up interest for Cayman" trips.



  12. Anonymous says:

    It would have been nice if the AP’s byline had said "Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands" instead of "Kingston, Jamaica"!!!

  13. Anonymous says:


  14. Lachlan MacTavish says:

     Media events like this sinking have a limited shelf life. So I am confident thet The Minister of Tourism instructed CAL to do a fly one get one free Kittiwake special to get maximum bang for the buck with stay over dive tourists. And he instructed The Dot to market and advertise this package deal well in advance to build up CAL load factors and hotel occupancies. In 60 days the stats will be in on the special and the Minister of Tourism can make an announcement and show us how out DOT dollars are doing.

    Congrats to all the Kittiwake private sector folks. Brilliant job.

  15. Caymanians for logic says:

    That is Great.

    I do monitor the international press daily and interestingly most of the local negative stories are actually reposts of CNS stories! Used to be Cayman Net News as well but now CNS has the distinction.

    Glad the the overseas press also picked up on this benign story however. Did see it far and wide.

    Think before you post, y’all.