Thursday, February 20, 2014

Will we ever work KH5K Kingman Reef again?

Kingman Reef (KH5K) pictured in 2003
A disturbing report from suggests that most of Kingman Reef, an isolated reef in the Pacific Ocean and one of the rarest DXCC entities with the designator KH5K, is now almost completely submerged. The eighth most wanted DXCC is now mostly under water, and probably too dangerous to visit.

Quoting Rich KY6R and citing a report from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, reports that much of the reef is awash, and that the two land masses making up the reef lie only three feet above water level:

The U.S. F&W report suggests that Kingman Reef is now too dangerous to visit:

“The work site on the reef flat was very shallow with water depths of 1 to 7 feet at high tide, and just a few inches of water at low tide. The two small rubble islands that comprise the only land masses at Kingman Reef lie merely 3 feet above sea level. They are frequently awash by waves and offered no shelter during removal operations. The severe sea state and environmental conditions at Kingman Reef are unpredictable, and forecasts are relatively unreliable at the isolated central Pacific reef. Such uncertainty constrained safe operations, and the team determined that mobilizing the full shipwreck removal team and all floating assets, including the 185-foot barge and large crane, from Palmyra to be staged at the Kingman removal site, presented an unacceptable risk to crew and resources. Instead, a subset of the crew traveled to Kingman Reef from Palmyra Atoll on the tugboat Sarah C with a transport scow in tow.”

Rich told that he thinks it's now "time that DXAC seriously consider deleting Kingman Reef."
Kingman reef was last activated in the year 2000 by the K5K dxpedition. There is some doubt right now about whether it will ever be activated again.

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