CS Hooper: The World’s First Purpose Built Cable Laying Ship

CS Hooper Cable Laying Ship is considered the world’s first cable laying ship and holds a very prestigious place in the high seas’ maritime operations. Helping to fulfill a vital requirement, cable ships mark essential developments in the maritime industry achieved over 200-years ago.

Operated by the British engineering company, Hooper Telegraph Works, the first cable laying ship, the CS Hooper ship was constructed in the year 1873. The namesake of the company’s founder, William Hooper, CS Hooper was built by the C. Mitchell shipbuilding company at their Newcastle shipyard.

Specifically built to undertake a project to position sub-water cable lines between England and Bermuda though the United States, the vessel was constructed in just over a period of three months. The term ‘CS’ in the CS Hooper cable ship is an abbreviation of the term ‘Cable Ship’ and denotes the vessel’s operational purpose.

CS Hooper
Image for representation purpose only

CS Hooper Cable Laying Ship: Specifications and Characteristics

  • The cable laying ship had a length of about 103 metres with a breadth of almost 17 metres
  • With a Gross Registered Tonnage of over 5,000 tonnes, the first cable laying ship could carry almost 89,000 cubic feet of rolled cable lines in its three cable line tanks
  • Alongside being a cable laying ship, the CS Hooper was also utilised as a cargo vessel between United States and England

After nearly eight years of successful service with Hooper Telegraph Works, the CS Hooper cable ship was sold to yet another British maritime corporation. The India Rubber, Gutta-Percha and Telegraph Works Limited acquired the cable laying ship in the year 1881 and soon thereafter re-christened it as the CS Silvertown after S.W. Silver, the company’s founder and owner.

The CS Silvertown was in operation for over three decades and undertook several important sub-water cable positioning projects in Africa, Latin America, the Caribbean and even in the British waters. In the year 1912 the vessel was sold to an oil corporation and was utilised as an oil cargo carrier for about eight years and later on as a fuelling ship moored at the Southampton harbour.

In the year 1924, the vessel was sold for the last time to the Venture-Weir conglomerate and was rechristened as Francumon II. Mainly utilised as a fuelling vessel, the Francumon II was in operation for almost 12 years before being commissioned for dismantling in the year 1936.

References atlantic-cable, aukevisser

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