DoT invites all to tour Kittiwake before sinking

| 03/01/2011

(CNS): Currently anchored off Seven Mile Beach the former USS Kittiwake is now being ready for her sinking on Tuesday morning. Once settled on the ocean floor the ship will become an artificial reef and hopeful attract members of the dive community far and wide. However, before the ship is set for her final resting place the Department of Tourism is inviting the public to tour around the vessel and learn all about her history and how she has become the country’s latest tourist attraction. Tour boats will depart from the West Bay Public Dock around every 30 minutes between 2:00 – 4:00pm on Monday afternoon. Tours are free and are provided on a first come first served basis, courtesy of Cayman Islands Tourism Association.

The ship arrived in Cayman on Christmas morning and the sinking is currently scheduled for 10am on Tuesday morning.

The 251-foot, 2,200 ton, five-deck military vessel, which served the United States Maritime Administration (US MARAD) for over 50 years after it was commissioned in 1945arrived after a 10-day towing period from the James River Reserve Fleet in Virginia, USA.

A project of the Ministry and Department of Tourism in partnership with the Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA), the idea for acquiring the Kittiwake to create a new dive attraction for the Cayman Islands had its genesis some seven years ago. The Cayman Islands’ acquisition of the decommissioned naval vessel marks the first time that a US MARAD ship has been donated to a foreign government for the creation of an artificial reef.



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  1. Anonymous says:

    Is this ship bigger than the war ship they sank off Cayman Brac a few years back? That was quite interesting to watch.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Weather dictates the sinking time and date…

  3. Anonymous says:

    This should have been planned for Saturday when many people who care to witness the sinking, would be able to see the event.

    This vessel’s arrival was delayed I believe several months, so why could the sinking which is being billed as such a big event, not be delayed 4 more days? Surely there must be a logical explanation but I can’t figure it out.

    • Thining before speaking... says:

      Yup, there is a logical explanation – weather (e.g. wind speeds/nor’westers) must be taken nto consideration!!  

      Anyway, hopefully, whenever it takes place there will be comprehensive quality video coverage of the event, especially for those of us who wont have the luxury of taking time off from work to witness the sinking firsthand.  CITN if you do not have the opportunity/equipment to shoot this yourself, please go the extra mile and arrange something with whomever may be covering this historic event so that you can then make it available on your tv channels (27 and 24 included)  for the enjoyment of many. 

      Hmm, maybe DOT and/or CITA may want to consider having DVDs of this available for sale  starting as soon as possible after the event as these would no doubt sell like hot cakes – especially if well done – and could well be a good source of fundraising for the Kittiwake’s care and maintenance!

  4. Anonymous says:

     Why is the sinking happening on the first day everyone is back at work?This is just terrible planning and very unfair on the local residents.

    • Concerned Caymanian says:

      I agree, and I would also have appreciated a little more notice for touring the vessel before sinking!  Two hours on Monday afternoon, and not posted until almost 11:00 on Monday is insufficient notice and insufficient time!  What is the rush?

      • Ya mon says:

        Hey, this is our Department of Tourism working as usual.  Did you expect anything other than a half-done job, a day late and over-budget?

        No wonder our tourism product is in the toilet.