Bottom Depth Range: 95-400 feet (29-122 meters)
Bright Bank is located approximately 14.5 km (9 mi) east of Rankin and 28 Fathom Banks, but is structurally connected by a series of patch reefs. It is approximately 6.3 km (4 mi) wide in an east-west direction and 5.8 km (3.6 mi) wide in a north-south direction. The bank is shaped somewhat like a lion’s paw, with its crestaround 34.4 m (113 ft) under water.
In the shallower areas, historic records report boulder-like reef structures 1.5 m (4.9 ft) or less in height and 1-2 m (3-6.5 ft) in diameter, occurring singly or clustered into reef patches up to 50 m (164 ft) in diameter.
In the 1980’s, treasure salvage operators laid claim to a supposed Spanish Galleon on Bright Bank, and salvors have been exploiting/exploring the bank since that time. This has caused tremendous destruction to the coral boulders on the crest of the bank and left excavation pits 3-4 m (10-13 ft) deep. Currently no federal laws prohibit this type of activity.
The deeper areas (>50 m or 164 ft) at Bright Bank include extensive coralline algae and deep coral habitat, including some hard corals. Extensive fields of algae (Codium sp.) have also been documented.