Posted on 25.04.2008 - 08:00 EDT in SUBSEA TELECOMS NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links
The company's findings do not, in and of themselves, explain all the cable cuts that occurred in late January/early February, but they do indicate that the timing and placement of the breaks was coincidental. Reliance Globalcom reached its conclusions by studying satellite imagery of the two vessels and their movements over the time period in question.
These findings were presumably referenced against the evidence collected by the repair crews that were sent to examine and repair the broken cables.
The diagram above (courtesy of Wikipedia) shows the location of the first two cuts, as well as the paths the optical cables take in and out of the region. More cable cuts occurred than are shown here, but these are the cuts attributed to the two vessels. The damage caused weeks of problems for the Middle East, as all regional Internet traffic was temporarily forced to run over a single, land-based fiber optic cable.
Both the MV Hounslow and the MT Ann were impounded upon reaching Dubai. One of the two-it's not clear which-has already been released after its Korean owners agreed to pay an unstated amount of compensation. The other, Iraqi-owned, ship is in a bit more trouble, however, and sailors on the vessel may be taken to court. There's no information available yet on why the two ships are being treated differently, or why specific sailors, rather than the ship's owners, may be charged with damaging the cable.