Industry Events





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Marine Services

Subsea Cable UK changes name to reflect expanded focus
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Wednesday, 23 March 2016 08:40

UK-based trade organization Subsea Cable UK has become the European Subsea Cables Association (ESCA) in a move to reflect its broader membership and scope.

The organization made the announcement following its annual meeting.  ECSA noted that almost half of the members of Subsea Cable UK were non-UK and that its scope had moved beyond UK waters to encompass European waters and beyond.

The principal goal of ESCA is the promotion of marine safety, safeguarding of subsea cables from man-made and natural hazards and protecting the rights of operators to install and maintain cables.

For more information, go to the organization’s new website is at

Caribbean cable outage barely noted
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Sunday, 16 August 2015 15:34

An outage on a submarine fiber optic cable system serving the Northern Mariana Islands of Saipan, Tinian and Rota made considerable headline last month.  Being the only cable serving the islands, the outage completely severed their landline telephone and Internet connections for several days and communications remained limited for weeks until the cable was repaired.

By contrast, a cable outage in the Caribbean was barely noted in the press.  The unidentified cable was damaged by the eruption of the colorfully-named Kick‘em Jenny undersea volcano near the island of Grenada.  The lack of coverage was likely due to the fact that Grenada is served by other cables and the outage did not appear to significantly disrupt traffic.

Trinidad telecom operator TSTT issued a statement on July 24 reporting the outage and warning that Trinidad’s Internet users might experience slow download speeds, followed by another statement on August 6 reporting that the cable was repaired two days earlier.  We could not find any other announcements about the outage.

Everyone in the submarine cable industry recognizes the value of redundancy.  The events in the Marianas and Caribbean once again demonstrates that value.

Truth really can be stranger than fiction
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Tuesday, 11 August 2015 15:33

The submarine cable industry has seen its share of strange happenings over the years, but an event last month at a beach in Rhode Island has to rank near the top.

On July 11, an explosion occurred at the Salty Brine State Beach in Narragansett, Rhode Island, that was powerful enough to throw one beachgoer 10 feet into the air and suffer broken bones.  The next two weeks saw an investigation that sounded like a detective story, except that the resolution was considered by most to be anti-climactic.  We in the submarine cable industry may disagree. 

While the immediate assumption was an explosive device or fireworks (it was only a week after the Fourth of July), these causes were quickly ruled out, as were possibilities such as gas pipelines or seismic events.

At this point, with investigators running out of ideas, experts from the University of Rhode Island Graduate School Of Oceanography (URI GSO) were brought in, led by Dr. Arthur Spivack, an oceanographer with expertise in geo-chemistry. 

The investigators’ only clue was an unusually high concentration of hydrogen gas in the sand near the explosion.  As their attention turned to where the gas could be coming from, they located a cable buried under the sand. 

The cable in question ran from a USCG station, across the beach, and then undersea to the end of a stone jetty, were it once powered a navigational beacon.  When power for the beacon was shifted to solar in 2007, the cable was “de-energized,” but remained under the sand at the beach.

After his investigation, Dr. Spivak reported that it was very likely the incident was caused by the combustion of a build-up of hydrogen gas in the beach sand, due to the corrosion of the cable.

The remains of the cable have been removed and the injured person is recovering.  The beach has been declared safe and re-opened to the public.  The governor of Rhode Island recognized the contribution of the URI GSO and thanked them for them efforts. 

Recently, the International Cable Protection Committee released a study proving as myth the popular media’s obsession with sharks eating submarine cables.  The beach explosion proves that reality sometimes can be even more bizarre than the media’s imagination.

Timeline for CNMI outage
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Sunday, 26 July 2015 17:53

The outage on the only cable serving the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI) has caused to a serious disruption, not only to telecom and Internet services, but to the economy as well.  Everything from ATM transactions to airline flights have been affected.  The following is a timeline of the incident.

July 8: IT&E owner and operator of the only cable serving the CNMI, reported the cable outage.  All phone and Internet services to the islands of Saipan, Rota and Tinian were cut.

July 8: Docomo Pacific, which uses the IT&E cable, reported that its telephone and Internet services were out, although television services remained operational

July 9: Docomo Pacific reported that as of 1:30pm local time, voice and SMS services were restored on Saipan.  Mobile data and Internet services remained out on Saipan and all services were out on Rota and Tinian.

July 10: Divers attempt to locate the point of failure off Tinian, but are hampered by rough seas and the depth of the water.

July 12: IT&E reported that the activation of a microwave backup link allowed some improvement in services on Saipan.’

July 14: IT&E reported that the activation of an additional microwave backup link has improved services, but that they are still slow.

July 16: Government of CNMI declares a “State of Significant Emergency”

July 16: IT&E reported that a cable ship would arrive on July 22

July 22: IT&E said that rough weather had delayed the ship and it would arrive instead on July 23

July 23: TE SubCom cable ship Durable reaches Saipan

July 24: Durable locates cable and begins repair work

July 27: Estimated completion date for repairs

VIDEO: Launch of the Cable Ship Maram
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Monday, 30 March 2015 15:15

E-Marine recently announced plans for expansion of its cable fleet, beginning with the launching of the cable ship Maram.  The company also posted a video of the launch at

Companies developing small vessel tracking technology
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 11:00

A frequent comment heard at the ICPC plenary session held in Dubai last month was the potential for AIS technology in cable protection.  One problem with AIS is that small fishing boats are not likely to have the equipment on board to allow them to be tracked. 

Now, two companies, exactEarth and SRT have announced plans to develop and commercialise technology that will for the first time enable low power AIS transceivers of the types being deployed on small commercial and leisure vessels worldwide to be tracked from space, thereby enabling global tracking.

AIS is a VHF technology primarily optimised and designed for high intensity terrestrial-based tracking with reliable range typically limited to approximately 50 nautical miles. High powered Class A type transceivers are able to be tracked globally by the existing exactEarth AIS satellite network, however due to a variety of complex reasons, transmissions from standard Class B and Identifier type devices cannot currently be reliably tracked from space. Since May 2013 last year, exactEarth and SRT have pooled their capabilities to develop a new technology called ABSEA™ which, when embedded within standard low powered AIS transceivers, enables their transmissions to be received by exactEarth satellites. This enables wide area extended tracking capability of small vessels fitted with ABSEA enabled transceivers and the provision of valuable supplementary AIS tracking data to existing terrestrial networks with incomplete and or standard coverage limits.

Under the terms of the agreement, SRT and exactEarth jointly own the ABSEA technology and will co-operate to commercialize the tracking data. SRT will receive a share of the revenues generated from data sales. The first ABSEA enabled products are expected to be deployed later this year.

Momentum for AIS tracking of fishing boats is building, more to halt illegal fishing than to protect submarine cables.  The World Wildlife Fund recently called for AIS tracking of all fishing boats as a measure to deal with illegal fishing. 

Cable Ship Leon Thevenin
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Tuesday, 15 April 2014 09:03

A nice article, with tons of pictures, was posted recently on the IT News Africa website about the cable ship Leon Thevenin.  The article was the result of a tour given to journalists while the ship was docked in Cape Town, South Africa.  It describes the ship and its equipment, including the ROV Hector 5.  Check it out at


Status of cable outages
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Monday, 11 April 2011 15:17

The following is the latest status on submarine fiber optic cable outages throughout the world.

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E-Marine Signs Major Maintenance Agreement
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Monday, 02 August 2010 18:07

E-Marine has announced a maintenance and storage agreement with the East African Submarine System (EASSy), a fiber-optic cable that will greatly improve access to high-performance Internet, business and mobile-phone data services in twenty-one African nations.

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OMM Secures Former Cable Factory as Storage Facility
Submarine Cable NewsFeed - Marine Services
Sunday, 01 August 2010 16:25

Subsea service specialist Offshore Marine Management (OMM) has secured the former AEI Cables site in Kent from its landowners, South East England Development Agency (SEEDA), for the establishment of a new cable storage, cable plant and key component spares that will act as an industry operational base.

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