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Wreck dive site the USS Kittiwake is a 77 meter long rescue vessel recently being scuttled near Seven Mile Beach, Grand Cayman.
|Name Dive Site:||USS Kittiwake|
|Depth: ||16-59ft (5-18m)|
|Inserted/Added by: ||lars, © Lars Hemel|
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The decommissioned US Navy ship the USS Kittiwake (ASR-13) was primarily used to rescue sailors and crew-members from sinking submarines. This 77m long submarine rescue ship, launched on July 10, 1945 was part of rescue missions around the globe for 54 years (including Vietnam, Korea) when a collision with the USS Bergall in 1984 prevented her from continuing her important work. She became part of the James River Reserve Fleet also known as the Ghost Fleet because of their inactive duty. In her last years she was stationed and getting rusty in Fort Eustis, Virginia before she was handed over to the government of the Cayman Islands in August 2009. Being towed to Grad Cayman in the end of December 2010, the Kittiwake nowadays is located near Sand Chute, at the northern end of Seven Mile Beach. In time, it will be a dive site similar in beauty as the famous MV Captain Keith Tibbetts on Cayman Brac.
She was successfully scuttled upright in waters of 19m deep on the 5th of January 2011, creating another artificial wreck to encourage coral growth and marine life in the already rich waters around the Cayman Islands. All hazardous materials were removed before sinking, making it safe to visit and enter. It will take just a few years before polyps, crustaceans and juvenile fish are starting to inhabit the wreck. She is resting upright on a white-yellow sandy bottom in shallow waters. Its top-deck reaches the surface to within five meters, making it a great underwater attraction for snorkeling as well as diving.
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