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Diving Paradise in the Cayman Islands

The Cayman Islands are made up of three islands – Chief Cayman, Cayman Braz, and Little Cayman. They lie in the western Caribbean about 700 km south of Miami, 366 km south of Cuba, and about 500 km northwest of Jamaica. Main Cayman is by far the largest and most developed, with an area of 197 square kilometers. The two Sibling Islands of the main Cayman, Cayman Braz, and Little Cayman, are small – 38 and 28.5 sq. km respectively. They are located approximately 120 kilometers northeast of Grand Cayman.

One of the main attractions of the Cayman Islands is scuba diving. The Three Cayman Islands are the remains of a massive seamount. The slopes of this mountain are quite steep, vertical in some places, only a few hundred meters from the coast. Here, diving enthusiasts will find coral reefs, colorful fish, and other exotic underwater creatures. But the most extraordinary sight is the numerous remains of the shipwreck.

More than 325 ships were wrecked around the Cayman Islands. Over the years, amateur and professional divers have discovered a significant amount of sunken treasures in the Caymans. In 1970, a young couple from Dalton, Georgia, while snorkeling from a beach on Main Cayman Island, discovered the wreck of a 450-year-old barge that disappeared in 1522 en route from Mexico to Spain. She was loaded with more than 135 kg of gold, platinum, silver and other jewelry, still intact after centuries underwater.

The most famous shipwreck is the wreck of Keitt Tibbetts, where a 330-foot Russian frigate sank. In 1996, it was recognized by the Cayman Islands government as an artificial reef and recreational diving attraction. The ship’s propellers are home to over 100 species of fish and coral. Keith Tibbets is one of the most awe-inspiring places around Cayman Bratz.

Another famous diving site is the Kali shipwreck. The accident occurred just 30 meters offshore. It is a popular diving destination because it is close to the coastline.

The new Cayman Islands shipwreck occurred in January 2011, when the decommissioned US ship Kittiwake was dragged to the west side of Grand Cayman and sunk to make it an artificial reef and dive site. The ship was flooded in such a way that it is suitable for both experienced divers and beginners who are not yet ready to dive too deep.

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