Thi Tu Reef and Islands in the northeast Spratly's
by Wolfgang Schippke, DC3MF


MapThe Thi Tu Reef consists of several flat corall patches and drying ground on a mean position of 11N10 and 114E30. There are only two smal island on the reef, North Islet, which is flat and uninhabited, and Thi Tu Island on 11N03, 114E17E. Thi Tu Island is claimbed and hold by the P.R.C. and inhabited by an unknown number of P.R.C. soldiers. The island is composited by sandy and corall, is about 500 yards long and 400 yards wide, and of triangular shape. Near the western most side of the island stands a 12 m high lighttower, concrete tower, white with a red top, built up in the late 1950's by the PRC. Thi Tu and the adjucated waters are also claimbed by Taiwan. On Thi Tu Island stands several larger buildings, reported to be visible by radar over a distance of 25 miles. A group of Radio towers stands on the North West Island, located about 1 mile further to west-north-west. An oberservation tower, 20 meter high, is reported to stay on South Thi Tu Islet, a very small sandy cay, about 1.5 miles south west of Thi Tu Islet. South Thi Tu is reported to be flooted during heavy weather. A large radar reflector stands near the tower.

The Thi Tu Reef was first reported in 1699 by a British captain with the HMS 'Fitzroy' and named by a midshippsman. In the late 19th century the Germans want to claimb Thi Tu Reef, but became therfor in change a small coastal strip named as Tsingtau. In 1933 the French built up a small base on the islet, given off when the Japanses claimbed several islets in front of the reef. In the late 1950's the islet was clambed by the P.R.C.