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World’s oldest cable layer in Greece

Celebrating her 115th birthday this year is the Greek cable laying ship Thalis o Milisios (Thales of Miletus), considered the world’s oldest surviving cable ship and currently on display at the Flisvos Marina near Athens.

Completed as the steamship Joseph Henry by the Newport News shipyard in Virginia during 1909, the 51.2m by 10.3m vessel was acquired by Greece in 1947 for operation by the Greek Telecommunications Company (OTE) and for the next 35 years laid more than 140 cables between the various Greek islands until retired in 1982.

Thereafter the 476grt vessel was donated to the Aegean Maritime Museum for preservation, eventually being berthed in the Park of Naval Tradition within the marina and next to several other historic ships.  

Report by Jim Shaw

Photo = The 1909-built cable laying ship Thalis o Milisios (Thales of Miletus) on display near Athens is considered the world’s oldest cable layer. (Mark Mulligan)

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