The Skerki Banks, also known as the Skerki Channel, are an area of relatively shallow open sea, situated in the central Mediterranean in the Strait of Sicily between Sicily and Tunisia. Coordinates: 37°47′N 10°46′E / 37.783°N 10.767°E / 37.783; 10.767

Skerki Banks
Submerged bank
Skerki Banks is located in Mediterranean
Skerki Banks
Skerki Banks (Mediterranean)
ReefsEsquirques and Keith's Reef

Known reefs in the area include the Esquirques,[1] two large rocky reefs of volcanic origin surrounded by a sandbank, and Keith's Reef.

Since 1988, various archaeological surveys have located a concentration of ancient shipwrecks in the area.[2] The site of these ancient wrecks was discovered by Robert Ballard and later explored by both Ballard and Anna Marguerite McCann.[3]

The area is adjacent to the Skerki Narrows between Sicily and Cape Bon and was known as "Bomb Alley" to Allied sailors during World War II due to its proximity to Axis air bases and the difficulty of protecting convoys from air attack. On 2 December 1942 it was the scenario of the Battle of Skerki Bank, where a squadron of Allied cruisers destroyed an Italian convoy.


  1. ^ James Stanier Clarke; John McArthur (2 September 2010). The Naval Chronicle: Volume 25, January-July 1811: Containing a General and Biographical History of the Royal Navy of the United Kingdom with a Variety of Original Papers on Nautical Subjects. Cambridge University Press. pp. 294–. ISBN 978-1-108-01864-7.
  2. ^ An early imperial shipwreck in the deep sea off Skerki Bank
  3. ^ McCann, Anna Marguerite. "The Skerki Bank Deep Water Archaeological Project, 1988-2004". Archived from the original on July 7, 2010. Retrieved November 1, 2017.