A Cable Laying Vessel (cable layer or cable ship) is a sea going vessel specially designed to lay underwater cables (telecommunications, electric power transmission, or other). Р’ The newest design of cable layers is a combination of cable-laying and repair ships, so they are also able to retrieve broken or damaged sub-sea cables and repair them on board.
Depending on water depth and the risk of potential damage, sub-sea cables are buried in the sea floor by the cable layer using a special plough. A DP 2 system enables the vessel to remain in a precise position above the defined cable route.
Cable lay vessel "Nexus" (Van Oord)
The cable is usually stowed spirally in a cable carousel (horizontal rotating table) and unreeled according to the speed at which the cable laying takes place. Today, the largest cable layers can stow and lay up to 9,000 tonnes and more of cables on board.
Most of the cable laying ships have a tonnage of over 11000 tons and are capable of laying not just one line of underwater communicative cable lines but two-three lines in addition.
Equipped with dynamic position system such vessels can operate in extreme weather conditions while providing optimum protection for all cable-handling operations. Also It can be equipped to deploy a remotely operated vehicle (ROV).
Below you will find animated video of cable laying systems and visualisation of the process: