Radio amateurs first reported Sandy Island didn't exist over 12 years ago.
It seems that although Sandy Island appears on Google maps, world maps and marine charts mid-way between Australia and New Caledonia it doesn't in fact exist.
The Daily Mail newspaper refers to a story by Richard Chirgwin that appeared on The Register. It says the hams in question reported that they sought Sandy Island in 2000 because its existence would have disqualified the Chesterfields from being a worthy DXpedition location. Its existence “was one of the key issues in determining whether the Chesterfield Islands qualified for addition to the DXCC List as another new entity,”
TX0DX 2000 Sandy Island Bulletin - http://www.n4gn.com/tx0dx/16.html