Kittiwake Celebrates 5th Anniversary of the Sinking with Underwater Museum
January 5th 2016 marked the 5th Anniversary of the sinking of the Kittiwake. In the five years the Kittiwake has been in our waters it has attracted numerous divers, began to establish itself as a habitat for marine species, and has become ingrained into our seafaring culture. To celebrate the anniversary of the sinking the Kittiwake Committee is preparing an underwater museum at the Kittiwake Wreck. Photos from when the Kittiwake was in service have been laminated, and will be mounted underwater at the wreck for all to see creating an underwater museum. The underwater museum will be available for anyone who visits the Kittiwake to experience.
The Kittiwake is more than just a well maintained wreck dive: it provides habitat for many marine species. “Wrecks in some situations can serve as artificial reefs, because they offer surfaces for corals to colonise” said Stacie Sybersma, Project Manager at CITA. “Once coral and algae start to develop there is a food source for the larger species such as fish and invertebrates, allowing an ecosystem to develop. The wreck also provides protection and hiding places making it an ideal home for many species.” Stacie continued, “this combination draws in many different animals making the dive more enjoyable because it is a well maintained wreck surrounded by life.”
Joanna Mikutowicz from DiveTech says “The Kittiwake has attracted fish, corals and other critters that would not be there otherwise.It is nice to see that man-made dive sites can create an entire new reef.It makes me feel excited and optimistic about our coral nursery program starting in Grand Cayman this spring.”
This combination of a well maintained wreck, and abundant wildlife is drawing in many divers and snorkelers a year. Over the past five years the Kittiwake wreck has seen approximately 53,000 divers, and 67,800 snorkelers.
Joanna Mikutowicz from DiveTech says that “The Kittiwake is definitely meeting and exceeding the expectations we all had for it.Not only is it a popular spot to visit on our standard boat trips, but it has created extra boat trips full of customers that have specifically asked to go to the Kittiwake.One of the reasons it was brought here was to fulfil that purpose and it is very exciting to see that it is working.”
Ash McKnight, owner of Go Pro Diving, and CITA Watersport Board Member says “We are all very pleased that the Kittiwake has been embraced by the local community. Numerous dive operators schedule daily trips to the wreck, and many private citizens have licenses for their personal boats. It is also very rewarding to see the international recognition the Kittiwake Wreck has received from organizations such as Scuba Diving Magazine and Trip Advisor.”
CITA wants to encourage everyone to go to the Kittiwake and visit the underwater museum. Trips are available for both snorkelers and divers.However, please note that to visit the Kittiwake you must go on a Kittiwake Licensed Vessel. Vessels are licensed commercially or privately, through CITA. If you are interested in licensing your boat, or interested in a list of licensed operators please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 949-8522.
Thank you Stephen Aynsley from Divers Down for the photos.
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