Skerki Banks

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The Skerki Banks, also known as the Skerki Channel, are an area of relatively shallow open sea, situated in the central Mediterranean in the Strait of Sicily between Sicily and Tunisia. Coordinates: 37°47′N 10°46′E / 37.783°N 10.767°E / 37.783; 10.767

Known reefs in the area include the Esquirques,[1] two large rocky reefs of volcanic origin surrounded by a sandbank, and Keith's Reef.

Since 1988, various archaeological surveys have located a concentration of ancient shipwrecks in the area.[2] The site of these ancient wrecks was discovered by Robert D. Ballard.[3]

The area is adjacent to the Skerki Narrows between Sicily and Cape Bon and was known as "Bomb Alley" to Allied sailors during World War II due to its proximity to Axis air bases and the difficulty of protecting convoys from air attack. On 2 December 1942 it was the scenario of the Battle of Skerki Bank, where a squadron of Allied cruisers destroyed an Italian convoy.