Grand Cayman’s massive underwater attraction, the Ex USS Kittiwake, took major damage from tropical storm Nate.
The tropical storm kicked up 10ft seas from the south, much like Hurricane Rina back in October 2011. Rina moved the massive shipwreck 60 feet closer to Sand Chute, the wall site located just south of her port side. Nate basically took the same path as Rina, and while it wasn't a hurricane, it was powerful enough to do major damage to the wreck site.
Rinas path produced similar swells, causing damage to the newly sunken ship.
The swell created by the passing storm pushed and pulled against the beam of the Kittiwake, snapping her anchor chains and pulling her toward the reef. As you can see from the images below, her port side rail is all the way in the sand. The area above the wheel house is nearly touching the reef and likely did during the storm. Conditions inside the shipwreck will need to be assessed prior to entry.
In this image she appears to be resting on the reef, she is infact a few feet away from the edge
Her port rail is touching the sand, this build up likely stoped her from moving even closer to the reef
Here you clearly see the massive amount of sand she pushed up against the dive site
We will post updates from the CITA on the status of the dive site as soon as they are made available.
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About the Author: Jason Washington is the managing director of iDive Global Ltd and the co-owner of Ambassador Divers, a PADI Five Star facility located at the Comfort Suites Resort on Seven Mile Beach. Living and working on Grand Cayman as an underwaterphotographer/SCUBA instructor for the past 20 years, Jason's work has been featured in numerous documentaries and feature films.