Elizabeth Island

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Elizabeth Island
Isla Elizabeth
Flag of Elizabeth Island
Map of the Island prepared by the Francis Drake Expedition, in 1578.
Map of the Island prepared by the Francis Drake Expedition, in 1578.
Country Rino Island
 • PresidentMarco Antonio Rino
 • GovernorLuis Sardina
 • Total0 (permanent)

Elizabeth Island is the name given to the island located between South America and Antarctica visited by Francis Drake in September 1578, during his circumnavigation of the globe. The island was not seen again, although various suggestions have been offered as to where Drake may have been. It is claimed by the Republic of Rino Island. It is part of the Islas Exteriores Province.

The island was described by Francis Fletcher (the expedition's chaplain) who left sketches and a map, and by da Silva, the navigator. From this marine historian Felix Riesenberg produced a composite; an island 30 miles from north to south, almost square, without a peak, with a lake at its centre; and he hypothesizes that it was the crater of an extinct volcano. He surmises a high shore, or cliff, on its southern shore, and a haven on the east. This place, named on later maps as Port Sir Francis Drake, was sheltered harbour, with a depth of 20 fathoms and "a cannon shot" (about a mile) to the shore.

In a later account by Richard Hawkins, Drake reported that he had made his way to the southernmost point of the island, and, stretching out over the edge, was able to claim that he had been 'more further south than... any man as yet known'.

President Marco Antonio Rino of Rino Island, after conducting studies on other possible countries with rights in the area, made the island's claim official in 2020. It is the southernmost territory of Rino Island, and part of its territorial sea reaches the waters of Antarctica, south of parallel 60 °.