Shipwrecked Costa Concordia Finally Sitting Upright Again
After a 19-hour ordeal, the capsized Costa Concordia is finally sitting upright.
The wrecked cruise ship went down over a year ago along the coast of Tuscany. The attempt to raise it by salvage crews was a feat of maritime engineering involving cables, counterweights, and even a floating crane.
Originally, crews had estimated the process, called "parbuckling," would take about 12 hours — the careful and difficult process had never been used on a ship of this size. The Concordia weighs more than twice as much as the Titanic.
Despite the lengthened timeline, Franco Porcellacchia, project manager for the Concordia's owner, Costa Crociere SpA said that the operation went off fairly smoothly. "We completed the parbuckling operation a few minutes ago the way we thought it would happen and the way we hoped it would happen. A perfect operation, I must say."
According to Porcellachia, experts have not seen any evidence of an environmental spill thus far.
The Costa Concordia crashed into a reef off of Giglio Island in January 2012, killing 32 people when the ship's captain brought the vessel too close to shore.
So what's next? Crews will have to assess the damage to the ship and shore it up so that it can withstand towing. An initial inspection of the cruise liner showed lots of brown slime and pretty intense damage from both the salvage attempt and the nearly two years the boat spent immobilized in water. The boat has to be strong enough to withstand the attachment of tanks that will help the ship float during towing, as well as the upcoming winter storm season.
Nick Sloane, the South African chief salvage master responsible for the operation to raise the Costa Concordia, didn't seem too concerned about the prospect saying, "She was strong enough to come up like this, she's strong enough to be towed."
The ship will ultimately be brought to an Italian port and chopped up for scrap.
Here's a time-lapse of the Costa Concordia rescue; because talking abut boats being salvaged is not as entertaining as watching them being salvaged: