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DOE on Kittiwake: “Future contact with reef can be expected”

The Department of Environment told Cayman 27 it’s advising against fixing sections of coral reef impacted by the Kittiwake’s recent movement for the time being.

The Department said its preliminary assessment found coral damage confined to an area of about 160 square feet. The wreck is not resting against the reef, but the DOE told Cayman 27 the ship is resting close enough that contact can be expected in future storms.

The DOE said this type of movement in rough weather is not unexpected.

“This is why the DOE has consistently recommended against the placement of artificial wrecks and other objects on the seabed around the Cayman Islands,” said the DOE in a statement. “Our extremely narrow marine shelf makes it is very difficult to place these structures at any safe distance from living reef.”

Under the National Conservation Law, any damage to coral by anchor, chain, or vessel is an offence, but in the case of the Kittiwake, which was awarded all the necessary authorisations prior to its sinking in 2011, the DOE said it will not pursue a prosecution.


About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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