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CAYMAN ISLAND SHIPWRECKS

OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS

Below the tranquil, calm waters of the Cayman Islands, innumerable surprises await – so many that you could scuba dive a different site 365 days of the year and never see the same thing twice. Among the most spectacular of these are the Cayman Islands' legendary shipwreck sites.

WRECK DIVING IN:

GRAND CAYMAN

Of all the Cayman Islands shipwrecks, the Doc Paulson is a favourite of divers. Sunk as an artificial reef off Seven Mile Beach, it sits upright on a bed of pure sand. The LCM David Nicholson, a 50 ft. WWII LCM landing craft that sits upright in 65 ft. of water, is another popular site to dive among those interested in warship wrecks and the reefs they create.  In fact, it's a favourite haunt of divers, as is the nearby 9 ft. tall, 900-pound bronze statue of a mermaid – one of only two in the entire world. Our newest shipwrecks are also not to be missed. They include the Kittiwake, a 251 foot, 5 deck, 2,200-ton vessel decommissioned in 1994 after over 50 years in service. The "Guardian of the Reef," a mythological half warrior, half seahorse, has become the latest addition to the Cayman Islands shipwrecks dive scene. The Guardian of the Reef was sunk in January 2014 at a depth of 65 ft. just off Lighthouse Point, on the island’s northwest point.

CAYMAN BRAC

The MV Capt. Keith Tibbetts – a 330 ft. Russian frigate – was intentionally sunk off the Brac's West End in 1996. Sitting in 50 to 100 ft. of water, this is the only divable Russian warship in the Western Hemisphere, making it well worth your time. Search through the waters and behold history right in front of you. Grand Cayman shipwrecks the unique Oceanic Voyagers, a 7 ft. tall bronze statue depicting a pair of spotted dolphins cavorting with the Cayman Islands' famous southern stingrays. Other top-rated areas for scuba diving shipwrecks are the Cayman Mariner and the Kissimmee.

LITTLE CAYMAN

On laid-back Little Cayman, a superb array of spectacular dive opportunities await you. In addition to the island's premier main attraction – the renowned Bloody Bay Wall – you can also find the wreck of the Soto Trader, a cargo barge that sank off the South Side of Little Cayman Island in 1976.

CAPT KEITH TIBBETTS, CAYMAN BRAC

Ranging in depth from 40ft to 110ft, this is the only divable Soviet warship in the Caribbean, not to mention the Western Hemisphere. A thin coat of algae has encrusted the vessel, and nudibranchs have taken residence in the wheelhouse, where divers can safely penetrate the ship’s top three decks.

KISSIMEE, CAYMAN BRAC

This wreck was deliberately sunk in 1982. Sitting in 50 ft of water, this 60ft tug boat now provides a fascinating point of interest for divers.

DOC POULSON, GRAND CAYMAN

This 70ft cable-laying ship was sunk in 1981. The Doc Poulson is a picturesque shallow dive great for beginners and second tanks exploring Cayman Islands shipwrecks. Intact and safe to penetrate, the wreck is encrusted with tiny patches of brain corals, sea fans, and sea rods and tended by a crew of slippery dick wrasse, parrotfish, and angelfish.

KITTIWAKE, GRAND CAYMAN

This submarine rescue vessel was in service from 1945 – 1994. The Kittiwake is available for both snorkelling and diving. There is no end of rooms to explore at this wreck. Soon enough, it will become an artificial reef, enhancing the marine environment with new fishery stock and habitats for marine life.

ORO VERDE, GRAND CAYMAN

Scuttled in the spring of 1980, this Cayman Islands shipwreck’s hull is steadily maturing with a coat of sponge and coral. Its current payload of horse-eye jack, sea bream, jewfish, eel, and barracuda will give you a high you won't want to come up from.

PALLAS WRECK, GRAND CAYMAN

This site is named after the Norwegian steel-hulled brigade brigate, which sunk here in 1903 when she hit the reef.