- 1 Geography and topography
- 2 History and Claims
- 3 See also
- 4 References
- 5 Sources & External links
Geography and topography
Serranilla Bank is a former atoll. It is about 40 km wide and 32 km long, with an area of 1200 km², almost entirely water. Several very small cays emerge above the water to form the Bank's islands. These are West Breaker, Middle Cay, East Cay and Beacon Cay. They are largely barren, with sparse vegetation of bushes and some trees. Most of the reef is drying and hundreds of wrecked ships are located in its vicinity.
Beacon Cay is the biggest islet in the Bank. It is completely overbuilt with houses and some military facilities, which were used by U.S. Marines during the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962. The station is abandoned today.
There is a lighthouse at 15°48′N, 79°51′W, on a coral ledge in the southwest approach to the Bank. It is a 33 m (108 ft) tall skeletal tower (on top of a 3-story crew residence). The lamp emits a focal plane beam of light as two white flashes every 20 seconds. The lighthouse is inhabited and active today and has been in operation since 1977. Sources are unclear on who operates the lighthouse.
History and Claims
The Serranilla Bank was first shown on Spanish maps in 1510. The United States claimed the Bank under the Guano Islands Act in 1879 and 1880. Colombia (indirectly) and possibly Honduras also claim the Bank. The U.S. ceded claims to several "guano islands" to Colombia in 1981, but Serranilla Bank was not definitely included.
Colombia has not directly claimed Serranilla Bank but is on record as considering the bank a part of the Providence group in the San Andrés and Providencia Department.
The U.S. claim
The United States considers Serranilla Bank to be an unorganized, unincorporated United States territory. The United States may assert sovereignty over West Breaker, Middle Cay, East Cay and Beacon Cay in particular.
- Bajo Nuevo Bank (similar claims dispute)
- Alice Shoal
- Rosalind Bank
- Political divisions of the United States
- San Andrés and Providencia (Colombian)
- ^ Sailing Directions (Enroute), Caribbean Sea, vol. II (7th ed.), National Imagery and Mapping Agency, 2001, <http://permanent.access.gpo.gov/websites/pollux/pollux.nss.nima.mil/NAV_PUBS/SD/pub148/148sec05.pdf> , p. 95
- ^ Acquisition Process of Insular Areas. U.S. Department of the Interior, Office of Insular Affairs. Retrieved on 2008-01-13.
- ^ Colombia - Departments - Overview and Index # fahnenversand.de - Fahnen Flaggen Fahne Flagge Nationalflaggen Nationalflagge Shop Flaggenshop Versand kaufen bestellen
- ^ U.S. INSULAR AREAS: Application of the U.S. Constitution. U.S. General Acounting Office (November 1997). Retrieved on 2008-01-13.
Sources & External links
- Website in English language with a map of San Andrés and Providencia, Serranilla Bank, Bajo Nuevo Bank and Rosalind Bank with the option of enlarging the map by clicking
- Aerial picture of Serranilla Bank. The website is related to San Andrés and Providencia
- Information about the Acquisition Process of its Insular Areas, provided by the US Department of the Interior, US Government: Serranilla and Bajo Nuevo Bank were both taken by occupation beginning between 1869 and 1880
- US Government, Department of the Interior — neither Serranilla Bank nor Bajo Nuevo Bank are mentioned
- University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill — The Serranilla Bank (with picture) and Bajo Nuevo are still claimed by the U.S.
- Serranilla Bank [NA-132 & Bajo Nuevo Reef]
- Several islands transferred to Colombia by the U.S. (effective September 17, 1981); but not the Serranilla Bank
- Serrana Bank and Serranilla Bank transferred from United States Miscellaneous Caribbean Islands to Colombia
- Claims by the U.S., Colombia and Honduras mentioned. Colombia considers Serranilla Bank being part of San Andrés and Providencia
- Serranilla Bank mainly part of a conflict between Honduras, Colombia and Nicaragua (in German language)
- Serranilla Bank is under Colombian jurisdiction; stir in Honduras
- Federal Communications Commission: Serranilla Bank is no longer under U.S. jurisdiction; transferred to Colombia in 1981
- worldstatesmen.org- here US page & http://www.worldstatesmen.org/US_minor.html ; also Colombia page