Loaita Island, one of the disputed Spratly
by Wolfgang Schippke, DC3MF
Loaita Island is located on 10N41, 114E25 on the outern edge of a large mostly drying submarine bank, about 20 miles long and up to 12 miles wide. Loaita Island consists of two seperate islands, the larger West Island and the flat and flooted North East Island, about 0.8 miles northeast. Both islands are composited by sand and coral, and vegetated with mangroves, scrubb and trees.
Today it is reported that Loaita island is uninhabited but claimbed by the Philippines, and inhabited till 1994, when a sea war between China and The Philipines took lace here. During the sea battle two gunship sunk and several soldiers were killed.
On the island stands several ruined buildings and broken towers, abandoned since that time, as the newest mariners ppilot reports.
Loaita Island was discovered for the Europeans in 1802 when the British vessel 'Loaita' run on ground and sunk. In 1933 the France errected a military outpost on the island, and in 1943 the Japanese Army took over the island. In the 1950's a US base was on the island, abandoned in 1959. After that time the island is fighted between the P.R.C., Taiwan and the Philiines.