The cablle ship René Descartes put to sea this afternoon after a two and a half day stay in port to take on some cable and tranching gear.
The massive ship of 13,864 gross tons was built in 2002 by Hanjin Heavy Industries of South Korea. It departs from the traditional model of cable ship and works only over the stern. Like offshore suppliers its navigaiton bridge faces forward, but it also has a working bridge facing aft. It carries a large gantry to handle the trenching plows, ROVs and other equipment and the cable sheaves are kept well clear of the hull by means of a large stern overhang.
It is owned by France Telecom Orange, and operated by France Telecom Marine. Although registered in Marseilles, the ship has no dedicated base, but works world wide as needed.