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USS Kittiwake Sunk In Grand Cayman
By Joseph Tepper, January 8, 2011 @ 08:39 PM (EST)

It may seem that after seven years of planning, several failed attempts to move the ship to the Caribbean, and even 15 knot winds delaying the first sinking attempt, that the Kittiwake was almost an unsinkable ship. But after reaching the soft sandy floor in clear Caymanian waters on January 5th, this “kitti” has finally run out of its nine lives.

 With a crowd of nearly 40 ships circling the restricted sinking zone, the 2,200 ton Kittiwake was expected to sink in the less-than-timely fashion of 2 to 6 hours, like an old man slipping into a bath. While no explosives were used, shocked onlookers witnessed the ship submerge in around a minute, listing only slightly to the starboard side as it descended below the surface.

 Despite the slight lean, safety divers were relieved to find the ship lying nearly straight on the sea floor at around sixty feet, with the top most point of the ship merely three feet below the surface. A select group of divers (including myself) were allowed to dive new wreck the following day; and what a site it was watching some of Cayman’s leading dive operators enjoy the now permanent landmark.

 The ship has been well designed for exploration: there are several large cutouts on the outside used in the sinking that allow easy penetration, as well as a diver friendly interior. A small cold front has delayed any further diving of the Kittiwake since the initial exploration, but rest assured that a full report and pictures will appear soon!

 It appears as though the Kittiwake has finally found a home.



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