Las Vegas, Nevada, October 24, 2008 - The Cayman Islands will augment its reputation as one of the top Scuba diving destinations in the world with the sinking of the USS Kittiwake, slated for June 2009. With this new development, the Cayman Islands will create an exciting new dive attraction and artificial reef, while providing much needed relief for some of the most frequently visited dive sites.
The USS Kittiwake, a de-commissioned naval ship, will be sunk 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.
Minister of Tourism, Hon. Charles E. Clifford, said the acquisition of the USS Kittiwake will add diversity to Cayman's diving attractions and promote the preservation of marine life. "Our sea-faring heritage, our strong interest in presenting varied tourism offerings and our belief in preserving the environment, all played a major role in the decision to acquire this latest diving attraction."
The USS Kittiwake was originally commissioned as a Chanticleer-class submarine rescue ship in the United States Navy during World War II. Now it will join the MV Captain Keith Tibbets, a Russian Frigate sunk off the coast of Cayman Brac in 1996, as one of the greatest artificial reefs in the Caribbean.
Speaking for the Cayman Islands Tourism Authority, USS Kittiwake Project Manager Nancy Easterbrook noted, "The Kittiwake has been a labor of love and extremely hard work for more than five years and we all look forward to seeing water-based tourism in Grand Cayman stimulated by this new underwater attraction, suitable for both divers and snorkelers."
Recognized in 1957 as the birthplace of recreational diving, the Cayman Islands has more than 40 dive operations and 250 dive spots spread throughout the island trio and is universally recognized as one of the world's leading dive destinations. Located 480 miles south of Miami in the western Caribbean, the environment features major barrier reefs and significant coastline within the protection of fringing reef, making it safe for swimming and snorkeling and a major breeding area for many species of fish and invertebrates. For more information on any level of world-class diving opportunities, visit www.divecayman.ky or call your local travel agent or the Cayman Islands Department of Tourism at 1-877-4-CAYMAN.