July 12, 2020

Two iconic Cayman Islands wreck dive sites are celebrating pivotal anniversaries in 2016

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kittiwake-bow.jpg.407x229_0_0_8475 maxresdefaultFrom Divers Market

With more than 365 fascinating dive sites situated across its three unique islands – that’s one for every day of the calendar year! – it’s no wonder why the Cayman Islands is hailed as one of the world’s leading dive destinations. Adding to its cool factor even further is that it is one of the few places where divers can explore historic shipwrecks up-close-and-personal at nearly 100 feet below sea level! With the upcoming anniversaries of two of the destination’s most celebrated wrecks, the USS Kittiwake (Kittiwake) and the MV Captain Keith Tibbetts, the time is now to book your next diving adventure to the Cayman Islands. Both sites present unmatched visibility and access to plentiful marine , found only in the spectacular underwater world of the Cayman Islands.

MV CAPTAIN KEITH TIBBETTS (CAYMAN BRAC) Celebrating its 20th anniversary in September of 2016, the 330-foot MV Captain Keith Tibbetts is the only diveable Russian warship in the Western Hemisphere and one of the most impressive wrecks in the world off the shores of Cayman Brac. A remnant of the Cold War, the ship was built in , but was designed to serve as a Cuban warship in 1984. The warship was scuttled in 1996 and after almost two decades of being bombarded by hurricanes and storms, the wreck has split into two halves. Today, the wreck serves as an excellent spot for snorkelers and divers and is home to over 100 species of marine life.

The multi-level wreck lies 50 to 100-feet beneath the sea (at various points) and its propellers are almost half buried under 56-feet of sand which can often be spotted teeming with colorful schools of fish. With its varying structural depths, the wreck is a favorite for all levels of divers. MV Captain Keith Tibbetts supports an array of marine life from thousands of colorful Grouper and Grunts to over 100 species of fish, coral and sponges.

Both these remarkable pieces of fully-intact architecture are a spectacular site to be seen and experienced. For more information on exploring the Cayman Islands beneath the sea and these historic wrecks, please visit divecayman.ky.

USS KITTIWAKE (GRAND CAYMAN) Nestled along Grand Cayman’s famous and providing exceptional snorkeling and dive conditions for everyone of all skill sets, the USS Kittiwake is celebrating its fifth anniversary in January of 2016. The ship served as a former submarine rescue ship from 1945 to 1994 journeying between the US, Caribbean and Mediterranean. Most notably, Kittiwake played an integral role in the recovery of the black box from the Challenger space shuttle disaster. Today, the ship has found its final resting place 60-feet beneath the sea and just off the shores of West Bay, Grand Cayman.

The former submarine provides visitors with ample opportunities for snorkeling, free diving, scuba diving and wreck diving. Snorkelers can explore the main decks and the ship’s topography from the sea’s surface, while divers can discover the various rooms within the submarine, which also provide ideal conditions for an abundance of marine life. The wreck’s favorable environment is especially conducive to swimming alongside thriving Goliath groupers and energetic schools of squirrelfish, which play amongst the decks. Kittiwake’s unique location is also protected under Caymanian law and requires an entrance fee for all visitors, which helps ensure the ongoing maintenance and protection of the wreck.

For more on this story go to: http://www.diversmarket.com/News.asp?NewsID=431

IMAGES:

M/V Captain Keith Tibbetts www.youtube.com

USS Kittiwake www.sunsethouse.com

Related story

Red Sail Sports Grand Cayman Introduces 2015 Kittiwake Anniversary Package

From Isla Public Relations
Special package is its participation in a year-long celebration honoring the premier wreck dives sites of the Cayman Islands

Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands, (Nov 30, 2015) – Grand Cayman is celebrating the 5th anniversary of the USS Kittiwake wreck in January, easily one of Grand Cayman’s most popular dive sites, and Red Sail Sports is extending the festivities to customers with a $200 savings on a special anniversary dive package. The wreck sits upright and intact in the sand and clear water off Seven Mile Beach at a depth easily accessible to both recreational divers and snorkelers. Visitors enjoy safe swim-throughs and the marine creatures that have moved in − making it a fascinating experience for divers of all skill levels.

Red Sail Sports’ Wreck Anniversary Package invites customers to experience the Kittiwake with great discounts and extras that only the island’s premier resort operator can offer. For only US $565 a guest can enjoy 5 days of diving, and additional two-tank dives for only $102 a day.

Available from Jan 3 – June 30, 2016 the Anniversary Package includes:

· Daily 2-tank dives, including one on the Kittiwake

· Kittiwake “5th Anniversary” Medallion

· Wreck Night Dive (operating on Tuesday, which can be substituted for a reef night dive on Thursdays)

· 50% off 1-tank afternoon dive

· FREE Sunset Sail

· FREE 12L Aqualung Defense Dry Bag

The Kittiwake is on the West Side of Grand Cayman and transportation is not provided, so customers staying in the of Grand Cayman will have a 50-60 minute drive to the departure point for the Kittiwake dive. In order to take advantage of this package, divers must pre-booked and pre-paid prior to arrival on island.

“We launched this package at the Dive Equipment Manufacturers Association (DEMA) convention in Orlando earlier this month and got great response from the dive travel industry,” says Operations Manager Rod McDowall. “The Kittiwake has earned a reputation as an outstanding wreck dive, and rightly so, because it offers an incredible experience for divers of all levels and ability. Even snorkelers can enjoy the parts in shallow water. We want everyone to come celebrate and they can book directly with us!”

The booking process is about to become easier too as Red Sail Sports has recently undertaken a massive upgrade to its reservation management system. The custom-built system called ResQwest, will move into its next phase in the coming months by rolling out a new user interface which will make the online booking process even easier.

“Our guests were having problems making reservations online, especially with larger and more complicated reservations such as booking multiple activities or a multi-day dive package,” says Sarah-Jane Harlan, Sales and Marketing. “We have upgraded our internal booking engine, and now it is time to roll it out a simplified reservation process to the public. We hope our guests enjoy a faster online booking experience in the coming months.”

To book the Kittiwake Anniversary Dive Package call toll free 1-877-506-6368, e-mail [email protected] or visit www.diveredsailcayman.com.

About Red Sail Sports
Red Sail Sports, a member of the Cayman Islands Tourism Association is a leading resort based dive and watersports operator. Since 1987 it has been setting the standard on Grand Cayman by providing the highest level of guest services. On Seven Mile Beach Red Sail Sports operates locations at the Westin Resort, the Marriott Resort, the Grand Cayman Beach Suites and the Ritz Carlton Grand Cayman. At remote East End the company has a watersports shop at Morritt’s Tortuga Club, also offering dive and catamaran services to The Reef Resort. On North Side Red Sail Sports offers watersports activities at the Rum Point Club. The company offers several dive packages through its affiliation with island hoteliers.

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