Italy's wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship to be raised

13.09.2013 16:53

The wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship
could be upright again next week, nearly
two years after the liner capsized and
killed at least 30 people off the Italian
The giant vessel, which has lain partly
submerged in shallow waters off the
Tuscan island of Giglio since the accident
in January 2012, will be rolled off the
seabed and onto underwater platforms.
Workers will look for the bodies of two
people, an Italian and an Indian
unaccounted for since the disaster, as
machines haul the 114,000-tonne ship
upright and underwater cameras comb
the seabed.
The exact day of the Concordia's rotation
- known as parbuckling - has yet to be set,
but on Wednesday Civil Protection
Commissioner Franco Gabrielli said
Monday was likely.
The Costa Concordia hit a rock when it
maneuver too close to the island,
prompting a chaotic evacuation of more
than 4,000 passengers and crew, in one
of the most dramatic marine accidents in
recent history.
Divers have pumped 18,000 metric tons
of cement into bags below the ship to
support it and prevent it from breaking
up in an operation which is expected to
last 8-10 hours and is part of a salvage
operation estimated to cost at least $300
A buoyancy device acting "like a neck
brace for an injured patient" will hold
together the ship's bow, and fishing nets
will catch debris as it rises from beneath
the ship, said Nicholas Sloane, senior
salvage master at Titan Salvage.
The salvage team will go through the ship
cabin by cabin and had over items found
on board to the Italian state prosecutor,
and the vessel will be towed away to be
Four Costa Concordia crew members and
a Costa Cruises company official were
sentenced to jail in July for their part in
the accident, and the ship's captain
Francesco Schettino remains on trial for
manslaughter and causing the loss of the
The captain is accused of abandoning ship
before all crew and passengers had been
rescued. A coastguard's angry phone
order to him - "Get back on board, damn
it!" - became a catchphrase in Italy after
the accident.