Legendary Cable Layer, Chamarel (ex CS Vercors), On Fire & Abandoned Off Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

France Telecom-Orange announced today that an unexplained fire had broken out on Thursday on the cable laying ship, the Chamarel, in the Atlantic Ocean off Namibia’s Skeleton Coast in the Atlantic Ocean.   The crew of 56 abandoned ship after attempts at firefighting failed to control the blaze.  The crew was picked up by a Namibian fishing vessel and taken to Walvis Bay. No injuries were reported.  The ship was returning from making repai to the Sat3/WASC/Safe submarine cable which connects Portugal and Spain to nine West African countries, circles around the southern tip of Africa, and connects to India and Malaysia.

As noted by Tim Conneally, writing for Beta News:  “The Chamarel, formerly known as CS Vercors, is actually a historically important vessel in international fiber optic communications. The ship was in service since 1975, and laid over a hundred thousand kilometers of cable, including AT&T’s TAT-6 transatlantic cable, and EMOS-1 the first Israeli-built undersea cable. In 2000, the vessel was used to set the record for the deepest submarine cable at 1,610 meters (just over one mile).”

To read more: Legendary fiber optic cable ship burns to a crisp on Skeleton Coast

Thanks to Phil Leon for passing along the news.

 

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5 Responses to Legendary Cable Layer, Chamarel (ex CS Vercors), On Fire & Abandoned Off Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

  1. Alan Rice says:

    Having been there for professional reasons a number of times, I can attest that Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is aptly named. The list of ships that have perished along that coast is long. Attempts to run a foundering vessel up on the beach there, if succesful, was no solution. There’s no fresh water to be found up and down the coast. It’s desert and dryer than the Sahara. Few survivors escaped dying of thrist.

  2. Darris says:

    Heart wrenching to think of that massive vessel burning and sinking into the ocean dumping fuel and who knows what else. We treat the ocean like a dumping ground and the main concern the cost of the vessel.

  3. Darris says:

    Heart wrenching to think of this massive vessel burning and sinking into the ocean dumping fuel and who knows what else. We treat the ocean like a dumping ground and the main concern is not trashing the sea but it’s the cost of the ship.

  4. Shane Crawford says:

    I can only wonder how the fire started, and how it was able to get out of control. All my sea time has been RCN vessels so fire fighting in all navies is of the highest priority. I wasn’t there so I’m not casting a stone at those guys but it makes you wonder how many of these specialized ships practice fire fighting. Just glad everyone is safe.

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