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

Memoirs of an STC Project Engineer
by David Watson

Introduction: From 1967 to 1996 David Watson worked at STC, where he was involved with most of the large cable laying ships of that time. His function was that of Cable Loading Officer during the loading and Project Engineer whilst laying cable. Here David shares stories from his unpublished memoirs.

--Bill Burns

1969 - August - Rome-Sardinia

This cable was Civitavecchia - Golfo di Aranci No. 2, 135 nm of cable and 20 repeaters, laid by STC for the Italian Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications.

The story for this project has not yet been written, but here are some details of the laying by CS John W Mackay, and photographs of the landing of the Sardinia shore end.

Costa Esmeralda Shore End 12-Aug-69 20-Aug-69
Rome/Olbia 20-Aug-69 31-Aug-69
Civitavecchia Shore End 27-Aug-69 28-Aug-69

The first picture shows Mike Hedges, a cable engineer from STC Southampton. He is on the radio to the ship and I'm standing next to him. We had been sent out to supervise the laying of the shore end at Costa Esmeralda in Sardinia.

Images and text copyright © 2011 David Watson

Read all of David Watson's memoirs:

Part 1: Laying SAT 1
Part 2: Sicily - Libya
Part 3: Germany - Sweden
Part 4: CANTAT 2
Part 5: ANZCAN

Last revised: 10 June, 2011

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The Atlantic Cable website is non-commercial, and its mission is to make available on line as much information as possible.

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.

If you have any cable-related items that you could photograph, copy, scan, loan, or sell, please email me: [email protected]

—Bill Burns, publisher and webmaster: