The Cayman Islands Tourism Association (CITA) is aware of the after-effects of this week’s Tropical Storm Nate on The Kittiwake dive site. Over the weekend, it was discovered that due to heavy waves and currents, one of Cayman’s beloved dive sites, The Kittiwake artificial wreck and reef was turned on its port side and shifted from its resting place. The recently released pictures of The Kittiwake on its side picked up significant local and international coverage. CITA’s agencies swiftly assessed the situation while also consulting with the Department of Environment (DoE).
Based on standard operating procedures, CITA had advised Licensed Kittiwake Operators to temporarily cease excursions to the site, to allow for professional checks, ensuring safety for its operators as well as resident and visiting snorkelers and divers. The popular dive site is monitored and inspected on a consistent basis, with scheduled routine maintenance, and this continues to be of paramount importance. After an extensive assessment was carried out through this morning, the dive site has been deemed safe for future visits. The official assessment report as at Monday afternoon, October 9th, indicates that moorings are safe for boats to tie up to, and visitors are still able to see the entire wreck from the surface, hence making for a visible and interesting snorkel spot. It is advised that watersports operators have their staff dive the site first, without customers, as it really is a different wreck, and will take some getting used to. That way, Operators are fully oriented and better able to provide quality guided experiences, as is customary.
CITA will continue to dialogue with the Department of Environment (DoE) and its watersports members in order to ensure this best delivery of this dive experience. The next steps are being reviewed in tandem with the DoE to ensure future shifting is minimized and/or mitigated due to possible future movement during storm events.
For further information on the Kittiwake, persons may contact the CITA Executive Office at 949-8522 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.