Louisa Reef

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Louisa Reef
Disputed island
Other names: Nantong Jiao 南通礁;
Terumbu Semarang Barat Kecil
Geography
Louisa Reef is located in South China Sea
Louisa Reef
Louisa Reef (South China Sea)
Location South China Sea
Coordinates 6°20′7″N 113°16′47″E / 6.33528°N 113.27972°E / 6.33528; 113.27972Coordinates: 6°20′7″N 113°16′47″E / 6.33528°N 113.27972°E / 6.33528; 113.27972
Archipelago Spratly Islands
Claimed by
 People's Republic of China
City Sansha, Hainan
 Republic of China (Taiwan)
Municipality Cijin, Kaohsiung
 Brunei
EEZ Brunei zone

Louisa Reef, known as Nantong Jiao (Chinese: 南通礁) in China and Terumbu Semarang Barat Kecil in Malaysian, is in the southern reaches of the Spratly Islands. Malaysia previously operated a small navigational light beacon here but has apparently dropped its claim to Louisa Reef in deference to neighboring Brunei. [1] While most of Louisa Reef is underwater, some portions dry at low tide and some small rocks remain above water even at high tide. Louisa Reef is 128 km south-southwest of Swallow Reef. It rises as deeply undercut walls and steep slopes from very deep water with extensive stony and soft corals. Safe anchorage is difficult to find, depending on the wind and currents, but there are sandy areas at the northwest and southwest ends. The nearest reliable shelter for boats is the lagoon at Swallow Reef.

Louisa Reef is oval in shape, approximately 1.5 km east to west and 0.5 km north to south. The navigation beacon is at its southwest point and the highest visible rock is at the southeast end. The reef itself abounds with pristine coral growth, with a prolific amount of staghorn coral on the north and west walls. The sandy patches immediately south and west of the beacon provide excellent night diving.[citation needed]

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