Do sharks like biting on submarine internet cables? The captain of a cable ship reveals all

That the internet is physical can be hard to grasp. Few people have experienced this fact as viscerally as Guillaume Le Saux, captain of a ship named Pierre de Fermat. It’s a state-of-the-art vessel that’s part of a fleet owned by French telecom company Orange, designed to lay and repair the optical fiber cables that criss-cross the world’s seabeds. The life of a cable-ship captain is pretty intense. Le Saux is on constant alert, ready to be dispatched to the middle of an ocean with a couple of hours’ notice. This can sometimes mean sailing into 20-foot waves, receiving ransoms, or fixing up a shark’s chew toy. When Le Saux arrives at the appointed spot at sea, he and his crew deploy Hector, the ship’s seven ton underwater robot, which will travel to the seabed, sometimes at depths of 5,000 meters. Hector’s job is to inspect the damage, bury newly laid cable on the sea-floor, or help bring damaged sections up to the ship’s jointing room, all controlled from the ship’s deck. Read the story here 17:28

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