|The sinking of the MV Keith Tibbetts - The Russian Destroyer|
Friday, 24 August 2012
Diving the Tibbets, err the Russian Destroyer, err the Koni II class anti-submarine frigate
Diving Cayman Brac's Historic Russian Destroyer
Off the north shore of Cayman Brac, in 1996, while film cameras whirled, Diver Magazine columnist Jean Michel Cousteau rode a decommissioned Cuban/Russian warship 30 metres down to sandy bottom close to shore. One of the world’s first artificial reefs for divers, the well publicized sinking made a worldwide statement about turning weapons of mass-destruction into eco-friendly tourist attractions!
The wreck is the only diveable Russian built warship in the Western Hemisphere. Prior to sinking, the 285 ft long ship (known as number 356) was named the Captain Keith Tibbetts after a local dive operator and businessman. The name hasn’t stuck too well, more often than not she is called the Russian destroyer even though she is a much smaller Koni II class anti-submarine frigate.
16 years after her sinking underwater journalist Stephen Weir, wearing a mini-underwater video camera strapped to his mask, revisited the crumbling wreck for a feature about Cayman Island's military artificial reefs - appear in Canada's Diver Magazine - September 2012. This is that video (it is a new link - original link had to be changed).