The Magazine for Underwater Professionals
The CT-1 cable tracker plays a crucial role when safety, time and money are paramount, says JW Fishers
What options exist when safe mission execution depends upon the identification and tracking of important power or communication cables? Both on land and submersed, the location and mitigation of important cables is an essential step in any construction or salvage project.
When safety, time and money are paramount, US-based JW Fishers says it has the right tool for the job – the CT-1 cable tracker, which has been specifically designed to locate and track buried power and communication cables, both on land or underwater.
“This advanced tracking system comes complete with everything needed to effectively track subsea cable,” says the company. “The CT-1 package consists of a shore-based signal injector box and the cable tracker probe itself. If the cable being tracked is ‘dead’, then a signal will have to be induced into the cable. The signal injector is connected to the shore end of the target cable and, after the signal has been sent, the cable tracker probe is used to locate the electromagnetic signal along the length of the cable.”
The CT-1 has recently been put to work by Intercoastal Marine, USA, a Castle Hayne, North Carolina-based commercial diving and service corporation supporting heavy construction, utility and manufacturing industries throughout the Mid-Atlantic region. The company was tasked with locating existing power and data cables along with water service lines that cross the mouth of the Cape Fear River from Oak Island to Bald Head Island.
Stan Rudd of Intercoastal Marine is enthusiastic about its performance. “The unit worked great. The accurate location was imperative to avoid vital services to the residents and visitors to this island,” he says.
Bald Head Island is an exclusive, privately owned island that is accessible only by boat. Although small, the island has played a part in two American wars. During the American Revolution it was home to the British ‘Fort George’. During the Civil War, the same area served as a confederate base of importance to shipping and smuggling known as ‘Fort Holmes’. The island is located at the tip of Cape Fear and between the Cape Fear River and Atlantic Gulf Stream. The landmass of Bald Head Island ends by trailing off into roughly 30 miles (48 kilometres) of treacherous sand bars known as the Frying Pan Shoals.
Black Dog Divers, located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, USA, specialises in all aspects of underwater construction, including pipeline and cable installation, maintenance and tracking. The company provides a comprehensive range of commercial diving and marine construction solutions for clients across several industries.
Earlier this year, Black Dog Divers accepted a job close to JW Fishers’ factory, just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. The firm needed to locate live submarine cables for the construction of the new Fore River Bridge connecting the towns of Quincy and Weymouth. It reports it completed the job both quickly and efficiently with the CT-1 cable tracker system. The tool, says the company, was imperative in finding the cables in an effort to mark their location for construction and to ensure that all safety precautions were followed when dealing with a potentially hazardous project.
The Fore River Bridge connects Route 3A over the Fore River between Quincy and Weymouth. The new bridge will be the third movable bridge at this location, the first being a swing bridge constructed in 1902. This swing bridge was replaced by a bascule bridge in 1936 when it was determined that the earlier bridge presented a hazard to river navigation. In the late 1990s, the swing bridge was found to be badly deteriorated and in 2002, traffic was directed onto the current temporary bridge. In 2004, after appropriate historical documentation, the 1936 span was demolished.