France Telecom-Orange has suffered the loss its cable-ship, the Chamarel, after a fire broke out on the ship in the late afternoon of the 8th of August. The 135 metre ship was returning from a repair operation on the Sat3-Safe cable off the coast of Namibia in the Atlantic Ocean.
Following efforts to fight the fire, the ship was abandoned at around 8pm local time. All 56 crew members were rescued by a Namibian fishing vessel uninjured. The crew is currently located at the Namibian port, Walvis Bay and will be repatriated in the coming days.
The cause of the fire is still unknown and an investigation by Orange has been announced. The ship was one of four Orange dedicated repair vessels in the Mediterranean and the Atlantic and Indian Oceans.
Thierry Bonhomme, Senior Executive Vice President in charge of Networks and Carriers, and R&D, said "The safety of our crew is our primary concern and we will look closely at the results of the investigation. I am also grateful for the support provided by the Namibian authorities."
This incident has no immediate impact on submarine cables in the area, which will continue to function normally. Orange says it will take all appropriate measures to manage scheduled maintenance operations.
The image in this article comes courtesy of dailywireless.org.