Costa Concordia Could be Upright as Early as Sept. 16
The Costa Concordia could be back upright as early as Sept. 16. Salvage crews received approval to rotate the capsized Costa Concordia upright next week, although the exact day depends on weather and sea conditions. The ship has remained on its side near the Italian island of Giglio since it struck a rock and ran aground on Jan. 13, 2012, killing 32.
The process to upright the ship, called “parbuckling,” is expected to take 10 to 12 hours. Plans are to pull the ship by steel cables onto underwater platforms. “This is a very delicate phase, during which the forces involved have to be offset carefully to rotate the wreck without deforming the hull,” according to a website that details the recovery effort. Once upright, crews will evaluate the ship, particularly the right side, which has been submerged and inaccessible. Any required repairs can be made then before 30 attached sponsons are gradually emptied of water and the ship regains buoyancy. Plans are to tow the ship away.
The parbuckling operations are scheduled to take place next week when weather and sea conditions are ideal; the exact day will be confirmed the afternoon of the previous day.
The Concordia wreck removal is considered the biggest salvage ever attempted on a ship of its size, according to press materials provided by the two companies overseeing the project — Titan Salvage, a U.S. company specializing in the recovery of wrecks, and Micoperi, an Italian company specializing in engineering and installation of offshore structures and undersea pipelines.
The entire project is estimated to cost well over €600 million. “Cost considerations played no part whatsoever in the decision-making process,” the salvage companies said. “The size of this investment gives a good idea of the scale of the project, although not one cent of public money is being spent. Activity at the site continues nonstop: about 500 salvage operators are working round the clock in shifts, 24/7.”
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