Tourism sector “buoyed” up by sinking of Kittiwake

| 17/01/2011

(CNS): The industry body that represents local tourism businesses says that the local dive sector has been buoyed up by a surge of interest in the destination as a result of the historic scuttling of the former US naval vessel, the Kittiwake, in the first week of the New Year. Officials from the Cayman Islands Tourism Association have said that there has been considerable interest from divers who plan to come to the Cayman Islands now just todive what the industry describes as a “new and exciting wreck dive”. Forty-six commercial vessels have already been licensed to take visitors to the attraction as well as sixteen private boats and interest is still growing, CITA said. (Photo by Courtney Platt)

“The Kittiwake is by far the best thing to happen in Cayman’s dive industry in the last decade,” said Steve Broadbelt of Ocean Frontiers. “Local operators are thrilled with the international response and demand to visit this new attraction.”

According to officials, the new artificial reef is already averaging over one hundred divers per day and numbers are expected to increase as the word gets out about this unique new dive site.

CITA is now dealing with all the required paperwork to license operators and private visitors and organise annual passes for residents.

“We expect to receive and process the required paperwork from those operators and residents expressing interest by the end of the month,” said Trina Christian, CITA Executive Director.

All licensed vessels receive two full colour dive slates illustrating the wreck and used to help safely navigate the wreck and, for those qualified, to allow them to know which areas of the wreck can be penetrated.

In addition, commercial operators who are licensed vessels receive 3 annual (staff) passes and licensed private vessels receive two annual passes.

“CITA is urging all vessels to submit their license applications as soon as possible in order for them to start taking bookings for the busy March/April Spring Break period,” officials urged.

The project, which was the brain child of Nancy Easterbrook, was seven years in the making, and finally came to historic fruition in front of the world’s media and drew significant positive international attention in a dramatic controlled sinking just off Seven Mile Beach on 5 January.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Wait until it gets out in all of the dive magazines, and as it starts to grow over and come alive, the response from the dive community will be overwhelming. Great Job by Nancy and all involved, what a great reef and dive attraction it will be

  2. Anonymous says:

    I dove her last weekend.  This is the most interesting and accessible wreck site in the Caribbean.  Congratulations again to all who had a hand in getting her to the Cayman Islands.