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Etisalat honours 60 'E-Marines'.

A TEAM of underwater engineers has been honoured for bravery after battling 14-foot waves to restore Internet services to the Gulf last month.

The region's web connections were severed by a series of incidents in which undersea Internet cables were damaged.

Two fibre optic cables near Alexandria, Egypt, and a third cable between Dubai and Muscat suffered damage, which Batelco said cost the company millions of dollars.

UAE telecom company Etisalat has now honoured 60 "E-Marines", including engineers, surveyors and crew, who restored the connection.

Crews of two ships, Cable Ship Etisalat and Cable Ship Niwa, had to wait three days before they could set sail due to extreme weather conditions.

"The first stage in locating the cable was to follow the detailed maps and charts which record where the cables are located," said Etisalat in a statement.

"This brought the crew within several hundred metres of the exact location, from where they began cable repair operations.

"Weather conditions had not improved and the crew of the cable ships braved 12 to 14-foot tall waves, working night and day attempting to isolate the damaged sections. Once successful, the crews then cut the cable and spliced new sections into the damaged cable."

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Publication:Gulf Daily News (Manama, Bahrain)
Date:May 1, 2008
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