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Conway Reef

IOTA: OC-112
WW Loc. RG78hg

Conway Reef, known since 1976 by its Fijian name "Ceva-I-Ra" or "Theva-i-Ra" Reef, is a coral reef of atoll type 450 km southwest of the Fiji Islands, but part of the Republic of Fiji. It is 2.5 km long in an east-west direction. On the middle of the reef is a small sand cay , 1.8 meters high and about 320 meters long and 73 meters wide, with a land area of two hectares. A stranded wreck of a coaster lies 240 meters south of the center of the cay, and the wreck of a fishing vessel lies on the northeast end of the reef. The reef is uninhabited apart from a number of birds which appear to have almost no fear of humans. Administratively, the reef it is part of Western Division , Fiji , and of Nadroga-Navosa province. In 1838 the Royal Navy Captain Drinkwater Bethune of HMS /Conway/ first came across the reef and recorded it however it was first mapped by the British several years later by Captain Denham of HMS /Herald/ . Three shipwrecks (1979, 1981 and 2008) have occurred on the reef. The most recent being a Chinese fishing vessel (Shin Sheng No.165) It was reported in 1983 that there was some vegetation on the cay, but it was bare by 1985. The cay currently has some vegetation about 3m high. While there are no other gaps larger than 75 km between Fiji islands (except Rotuma Island , which is politically but not geographically part of Fiji), Conway Reef lies 450 km to the southwest of the main Fiji complex. The closest land to Conway Reef lies 275 km WSW (Hunter Island in the French territory of New Caledonia ). Hunter Island is also claimed by Vanuatu . Access to the island should only be attempted at high tide in a shallow draft tender. Extreme care must be taken to navigate the coral heads
Conway Reef DXPed 2012. © YT1AD