EASSy in knots over its final splice…

This was the blog’s April Fool’s Day article, published on 1st April 2010...

With EASSy’s final splice – the joining of the two segments of the cable – due at the end of the month, consortium members have been debating their options to ensure maximum stability of the system. Other cable systems have in the past come apart when earthquakes have taken place; so EASSy shareholders are understandably keen to ensure that this doesn’t happen.

The Flip Arool knot, one option being considered

The current debate is about how best to join the two ends of the cable to ensure that they do not come loose under tension. Whilst superglue is nowadays generally considered to be the best way to fix almost anything, it is largely untested at the ocean depths and pressures to which it would be subjected. The well known ‘ fisherman’s knot’ is also an extremely secure way of joining cables, and has been used extensively at sea for hundreds of years. However, other well-tested knots – including the bowline and the ’round turn and two half-hitches’ – have also been put forward, as well as the legendary ‘granny knot’ which is well-known to be almost impossible to loosen.

Al Firloop, a spokesperson for WIOCC – the largest shareholder in the system – commented, “Its a huge debate right now, but we are confident that – with the guidance of Alcatel-Lucent who are installing the system – we’ll make the right choice”.


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