Goodwin Sands, stretch of shoals and sandbars, c.10 mi (20 km) long, lying off the east coast of Kent, SE England. It forms a breakwater E of The Downs, a roadstead. Shipwrecks were formerly frequent on the Sands. The shifting sands do not allow the construction of lighthouses, but there are several lightships and numerous buoys. Traditionally, the Sands were once a fertile isle called Lomea, the property of Godwin, earl of Wessex; Lomea was submerged by a great storm in the late 11th cent.