Cay Sal

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The island of Cay Sal from above

Cay Sal is a small island in the Cay Sal Bank between Florida, Cuba, and the Bahamas.

Bahama has an agreement with the U.S. Coast Guard for them to regularly fly over Cay Sal and other islands in the bank to look for people potentially stranded there.[1]

From the 1960s to late 1970's the Royal Bahamas Defense Force kept as small outpost on Cay Sal island, which also had an airstrip.[2] Another island in the banks, Elbow Cay (Cay Sal), has a lighthouse built in 1839 by the British.[3]

The United State's Coast Guard constantly monitors Cay Sal and nearby islands for refugee's from Cuba.[4] Cay Sal is about thirty miles away from Cuba.[5] Refugee's included pregnant women and children in craft even as small as rowboats made a run for the islands, even as they were hunted by Cuban torpedo boats and military helicopters.[6] Lucky ones would make it Cay Sal island which at some points was home to some civilians who could care for them[7]


Coordinates: 23°42′N 80°24′W / 23.700°N 80.400°W / 23.700; -80.400