Dive the USS Kittiwake

The USS Kittiwake, a de-commissioned naval ship, was sunk January 5th, 2011 at 2:34 PM on the North end of Grand Cayman’s world famous Seven Mile Beach, providing underwater enthusiasts of all skill levels with a new year-round diving destination that is both easy to access and a thrill to explore.

The Kittiwake, built in 1945, is the first US military vessel to be acquired by a foreign country. It was a submarine rescue ship in the US Navy during World War II, Korea and Vietnam and was decommissioned in 1994. 

The Kittiwake is 251 feet long, 44 feet on her beam, and drafted 19 feet fully loaded. Her light displacement was 1704 tons and full displacement was 2193 tons. After removal of much of the equipment and steel on board, her displacement is around 1800 tons of steel for sinking.

She is a very solid steel hull/steel superstructure that had 18 bulkheads, a single screw propeller made of solid brass that is still on board, and had a complement while in active duty of 10 Officers and 98 enlisted service personnel. Her armament was removed before export from the USA.

She makes for a great dive. The wheel at the helm still turns and the fish watch themselves in the mirrors in the head. Several large Cubera snappers and schools of Horse Eyed Jack patrol her decks. Flashlights are included in the price of addmission so you can look deep into the cracks and crevices for the little critters that reside there.

Join Cayman University for a dive on the Kittiwake and sign up for a Narrated Tour as we explore her from bow to stern.