Just a week after submarine telecommunications cable cuts off the coast of Egypt caused major disruptions to broadband services across Africa, Egyptian authorities have arrested three divers suspected of trying to sever the Sea-Me-We 4 cable system that runs through the region.
There are no immediate suggestions, however, that last Friday’s cuts to cable systems such as Seacom and the East Africa Submarine System (Eassy) are related to the latest developments. Seacom CEO Mark Simpson has said he suspects last week’s incident, as with most cable cuts, was caused by a ship dragging its anchor along the sea bed.
Reuters is reporting that Egyptian naval forces detained three divers on a fishing boat 750m off the coast of Alexandria. Authorities suspected they intended to cut Sea-Me-We 4, a crucial, 18 800km-long cable system that links the Far East to the Middle East and Europe.
According to Reuters, no reasons have been furnished for the alleged saboteurs’ motives.
Earlier this week, Simpson said he suspected that the reason for last Friday’s cut to a number of undersea cable systems in the same area was “external aggression to the cable, most probably caused by a larger vessel dragging its anchor across the sea bed”.
“Unfortunately, this remains a common cause of damage to cable systems globally, despite our continued efforts to protect the cable with armour, burying, notifications to ships of cable locations and exclusion zones.” — (c) 2013 NewsCentral Media
- See also: Seacom service restored