On January 5th 2011, the Kittiwake (an ex USA Navy Vessel) was brought to the Cayman Islands and sunk to make an artificial reef off Grand Cayman’s Seven Mile Beach. In her day, the Kittiwake was a submarine rescue vessel. The Kittiwake was in service from 1945 to 1994, serving more than 50 years. After she was retired from duty in 1994 the Caymans Islands Government purchased her to make an artificial reef. In preparation for sinking the Kittiwake was cleaned of all chemicals and oils to insure that no pollutants could harm the nearby coral reefs, and had most of her internal fixtures removed to make the vessel as diver friendly as possible. The Kittiwake is a large vessel measuring 251 feet long, hosting 5 decks, and weighing 2200 tons. She sits in ~60 feet of water. Open water divers can swim the first three decks, and advanced divers can swim through all five decks. Some highlights of the dive include two recompression champers, which served the divers who got decompression sickness on the Kittiwake, the bathroom which still has mirrors so you can see yourself, and the mess hall which still has tables and chairs. Most of the Kittiwake’s missions are still classified to this day, however a quick search online gets plenty of hits to some of her adventures. Most notably in 1986 the Kittiwake recovered the Blackbox from the Challenger Space Shuttle disaster. The Blackbox was recovered from the Atlantic Ocean. Today the Kittiwake lays in a marine park serving as an artificial reef. Divers and snorkelers are not allowed to take or touch anything in the marine park. To dive or snorkel the Kittiwake, you must go on a licenced vessel.
Depth 22 m · Visibility >30 m · Site Features : Coral Reef, Wreck, Wall
The Lobster Pot Dive Center
Dive Shop ⋅ 13 Dive Experiences
Sunk as an artificial reef in 2011 the wreck of the Kittiwake is approx 256ft long. A US Navy submarine rescue and re-supply vessel in its previous life, the Kittiwake is now an exciting dive for all levels of certified divers. There are 5 decks to explore, which are easily accessible with one of our knowledgeable guides.
Depth 19.8 m · Visibility >30 m · Site Features : Wreck
Wall to Wall Diving
Dive Shop ⋅ 2 Dive Experiences
What to Expect When Diving in Kittiwake
Dove with Azza and Kevin from Off the Wall Divers! Great crew! Azza took us through the wreck several times. Must see dive when visiting Grand Cayman!
Super cool wreck dive in the sunken Kittiwake. Ship is slightly tipped so a bit of vertigo when swimming through.
Awesome wreak ! Great to see this 250’ monster laying on her side in the deep!