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History of the Atlantic Cable & Undersea Communications
from the first submarine cable of 1850 to the worldwide fiber optic network

CS Retriever (5)
by Bill Glover

CS RETRIEVER (5)

Built 1961, Cammell Laird & Co., Birkenhead

Length 366.0 ft Breadth 47.6 ft Depth 19.1ft Gross tonnage 4000

Built for and owned by Cable & Wireless Ltd. The first in the fleet to be fitted with diesel-electric propulsion. Fitted with three cable tanks with a total storage capacity of 21000 cubic feet. The two forward cable machines were supplied by Johnson & Phillips and were electrically driven.

CS Retriever (5) during acceptance trials, April 1961
Image courtesy of David Griffiths

Three 6.0 ft diameter bow sheaves were fitted along with a gantry for laying rigid repeaters. For paying out aft one of the forward paying out machines was used and the cable and/or repeater passed along a chute, which itself passed through an alleyway on the centre line of the upper deck superstructure to the stern.

CS Retriever (5) alongside the Henderson quay
at the Humber Graving Dock in the 1960s.
Image courtesy of Ray Banks

Based at Fiji for maintenance of Canada - Australia cables. Later moved to Singapore to replace CS Recorder (3). Scrapped in 1995.

CS Retriever (5) at Suva main wharf, Fiji, February 1968

CS Retriever (5) ship’s badge
Image courtesy of David Howard

CABLE WORK

1961 USA Bermuda shore ends
1962 COMPAC Auckland - Sydney shore ends
1962 COMPAC Auckland - Suva shore ends
1982 ANZCAN Route clearance and repositioned the sea earth cable and main cable of Fiji - Auckland section of COMPAC prior to the laying of the ANZCAN cable.
1982 ANZCAN Laid shore ends at Fiji, carried out route marking between Fiji and Hawaii and laid shore ends at Hawaii
 

Launch of CS Retriever (5) at the Cammell Laird shipyard, Birkenhead on the 20th December 1960

CS Retriever (5) undergoing sea trials

Ship's Officers' Smoke Room

Ship’s propulsion system; two 1650 shp motors

Chief Engineer's Bedroom

Ship’s Hospital

Ship’s Control Console

THE RETRIEVER AT ANCHOR, SUVA

Christmas Card for 1961

Photo of Retriever laying New York shore ends of
USA - Bermuda cable, inserted in 1961 Christmas Card

Last revised: 18 May, 2016

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You can help - if you have cable material, old or new, please contact me. Cable samples, instruments, documents, brochures, souvenir books, photographs, family stories, all are valuable to researchers and historians.

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—Bill Burns, publisher and webmaster: Atlantic-Cable.com