Swan Islands, Honduras
Little Swan Island
|Municipality||Islas de la Bahia|
|Largest city||(pop. 10)|
The Swan Islands, or Islas Santanilla or Islas del Cisne, are a chain of three islands located in the northwestern Caribbean Sea, approximately ninety miles off the coastline of Honduras, with a land area of 3.1 km2 (1.2 sq mi).
Detailed location and features
- Great Swan Island (3 km long, 2 km²)
- Little Swan (2.4 km long, 0.5 km wide, 1.2 km²)
- Booby Cay (90 metres long, 70 m off the southwest corner of Great Swan, <0.01 km²)
The islands are uninhabited, except for a small Honduran navy garrison. Great Swan has a 3800′ (1158 m) grass airstrip (ICAO code MHIC, IATA code SWA). Due to a common mistake, the islands' size were measured by the Honduras Statistical Bureau in km2, but the typewriter accidentally typed sq miles, so the true 3.1 sq kilometers size became recorded as 8 sq kilometers. Google Earth photos support this mistake.
Both the United States and Honduras claimed the Swan Islands until the United States dropped its claim under the Guano Islands Act in 1972. The islands gained attention in the early 1960s due to the activities of Radio Swan, that began broadcasting in May 1960 during preparation for, and during, the abortive Bay of Pigs Invasion of Cuba. The station was removed from the islands in the late 1960s and its main transmitter was transferred for use in the Vietnam War.
In October 1998, Hurricane Mitch moved over Swan Island with winds of 180 mph.
- United States Miscellaneous Caribbean Islands
- List of Guano Island claims
- Honduras – United Kingdom Maritime Delimitation Treaty
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