Carondelet Reef is a horseshoe-shaped reef of the Phoenix Islands, also known as the Rawaki Islands, in the Republic of Kiribati. It is located 106 km southeast of Nikumaroro, at 5 degrees 34 minutes South, 173 degrees 51 minutes West, and has a least depth of 1.8 meters. It is reported to be approximately 1.5 km in length. The sea occasionally breaks over it.
History and name
Carondelet Reef was named after the vessel which reported it, which was not the USS Carondelet. It had been previously referred to as Carondelet reef before the USS Carondelet was named and commissioned, as mentioned in Lt. John Lambrecht’s Report on the Search of the Phoenix Islands
The Carondelet family was a Flemish noble family, closely associated with the Habsburgs, including the royal family of Spain. One member of this family, Francisco Luis Hector Carondelet, was governor of West Florida and Louisiana, and later of Quito in South America. It is unclear which member of this family is associated with the reef, or the ship that discovered it.