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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 Volta
by Bill Glover

CS VOLTA

Built in 1882 by London and Glasgow Company, Glasgow

Length 200.2 ft Breadth 29.0 ft Depth 13.8 ft Gross tonnage 502

Built for the Eastern Telegraph Company for work in the Greek Islands. Johnson and Phillips supplied the cable machinery. Fitted with three cable tanks and twin bow sheaves. Wrecked in the Bay of Panormos, Mykoni, on 18 April 1887 with the loss of twelve crew (other sources give the number as eleven, but the official Board of Trade Wreck Report has it as twelve):

In the matter of the formal Investigation held at the Town Hall, Westminster, on the 6th of June 1887, before H. C. ROTHERY, Esquire, Wreck Commissioner, assisted by Captains CASTLE, WARD, and DYER, R.N., as Assessors, into the circumstances attending the stranding and loss of the steamship "VOLTA," of London, on the Island of Mykoni, in the Grecian Archipelago, whilst on a voyage from Khios to Syra, on the 18th of April last, resulting in the loss of 12 lives.

Report of Court.

The Court, having carefully inquired into the circumstances of the above-mentioned shipping casualty, finds, for the reasons annexed, that the stranding and loss of the vessel were due to her having been put, after leaving Chios, on a course which would, if continued, necessarily have taken her ashore on the Island of Mykoni; and that the blame for the casualty rests with the master, who was drowned.


View Mykonos in a larger map

CABLE WORK

1884 Patras - Corinth No 1
1884 Corfu - Santa Maura
1884 Corfu - Paxos
1884 Argostoli - Lixuri
1884 Skopelos - Skiatho
1884 Trikeri - Vathi
1885 Syra - Chios No 2
1887 Zante - Patros 2
Assisting CS Chiltern
1884 Zante - Patros No 1

 

After the loss of Volta a lighthouse was built at Armenistis in 1890. Aris Bilalis, who has been conducting research to find the wreck of Volta, sends these photographs of the lighthouse light chamber, now at the Maritime Museum at Mykonos, and the commemorative plaque attached to it:

Images courtesy of and copyright © 2013 Aris Bilalis

ARMENISTIS. 1890. The construction of the Armenistis lighthouse was decided following the wreck of the British steamship Volta on the north shore of Mykonos in 1887, where 11 crewmembers lost their lives. The machinery of the lighthouse was designed by "Sauter Lemonier" and was exhibited at the Paris International Expo where it received prizes and was then placed in Armenistis lighthouse in 1890 and operated until 1983. This lighthouse is considered one of Aegean's largest.

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Last revised: 26 March, 2013

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