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Kittiwake site closed. Ship listed in Tropical Storm Nate

Discussion in 'Cayman Islands' started by Drew Sailbum, Oct 8, 2017.

  1. Drew Sailbum

    Drew Sailbum Instructor, Scuba

    # of Dives:
    Location: Grand Cayman
    2,188
    103
    The weather system that became hurricane Nate was organizing as it left the Cayman area. It was just enough to throw some rain our way and send some rough waves. But is also left one of Cayman's favourite wreck dives forever changed by toppling the Kittiwake onto its port side.

    Local television news Cayman 27 reports the popular dive site is closed, at least for now. The ship was intentionally sunk in 2011 and sat more or less upright. But now with the passing of Tropical Storm Nate the ship is laying on its port side and is now up against the Sand Chute dive site according to Jason Washington of Ambasssador Divers. This has left the ship about 20 feet deeper.
     
  2. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    14,511
    10,948
    That's a shame, that's what happens to artificial reefs. Looks like the West Bay dock took quite a pounding also.
     
  3. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia, USA
    2,895
    1,803
    And they closed the dive site? Why?
     
  4. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
    14,511
    10,948
    I was wondering the same thing. Perhaps they think the position is unstable. Maybe there was significant damage to the structure and that might be unstable. I recall a previous episode of damage to the structure for which the clean up was very extensive. I think the general philosophy is a very, very safe wreck.
     
  5. tomfcrist

    tomfcrist NAUI Instructor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Virginia, USA
    2,895
    1,803
    No such thing as a safe wreck...but I digress.

    Plenty of wrecks are on their sides...doesn't stop anyone from diving them. And those are real wrecks, not an oversized reefball
     
    Jim Lapenta likes this.
  6. knucklebusted

    knucklebusted Contributor

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: Vette City, USA (Bowling Green, KY)
    110
    36
    What a shame. I just dove with Jason and crew on the Kittiwake last week. I hope it is reopened soon.
     
  7. Joneill

    Joneill ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    1,919
    1,821
    That's a shame - we dove it in 2015 and it was a very nice site and an easy "penetration" dive - that likely won't be the case anymore (the easy penetration) with it laying on its side!

    If I recall, there was controversy when the original location was chosen. Several experts warned that the site was too shallow and that storms would move the wreck down the slope where it could damage the existing reef and other dive sites - which sounds like exactly what is now happening.
     
    scubadada and Steve_C like this.
  8. Joneill

    Joneill ScubaBoard Supporter ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 100 - 199
    Location: New Jersey, USA
    1,919
    1,821
    What in your mind makes you call the Kittiwake an oversized reef ball? It was a real US Navy submarine support vessel with diving heritage. They certainly tried to make it safer for less experienced divers to penetrate by cutting holes and welding doors open. It was a fun dive and an easy wreck for recreational divers. You could even swim into and surface inside a decompression chamber in the ship. However, the lower decks are technical penetration dives. Have you ever dived it?
     
    Kharon likes this.
  9. Ambassador Divers

    Ambassador Divers Contributor

    # of Dives: I'm a Fish!
    Location: Grand Cayman
    90
    65
    I've not been told that the site has been closed. I did however tell News 27 that I thought an assessment should be done prior to allowing the public inside. The reason for this is simple, the wreck is full of things like air storage bottles. Until we know that these are secure, touring divers through the site in my opinion would be a bad idea. I've been told that a crew from DT will check her out in the morning, if all is well, I'm sure everyone will swarm to the site ASAP. Personally, I'm excited. I've photographed that ship every which way possible, I'm already thinking of all the new angles/ lighting I get to explore:)
    I did go out today from the beach on my DPV. I didn't take dive gear so I was only able to see her from the outside. I've added the images to a blog on iDive. Here's the link.
    In any case, if she's not already, she'll be made safe soon. Then we will all have a new wreck to explore!!

    Jason
     
  10. ShutterFinger

    ShutterFinger Professional Photographer

    # of Dives: 50 - 99
    Location: Orange, Ca
    25
    9
    Thanks for the update and your positive outlook on the situation Jason. It was a fun wreck to dive for sure and like you said it will just be different now. I hope it gets open soon not only for us divers but for the boat operators that count on this as their bread and butter.

    [​IMG]
     

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