Costa Concordia cruise giant has been successfully pulled upright after 20 hours operation. The engineering was impressive, this salvage operation was first-of-its-kind and one of the biggest in the history.
Fortunately things worked out as planned according to the project's organizers:
"The wreck is now upright and resting safely on the specially built artificial sea bed, at a depth of approximately 30 meters."
The complicated operation for the upright of the tragic cruise ship Costa Concordia started in the morning and was planned to last for 12 hours but a thunderstorm stopped the process for 7-8 hours. There was also delay in the beginning to set up all the cables, pulleys and counterweights.
Credits: AFP photo
There were needed 22 hydraulic pumps to raise the enormous wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia in the right position. The giant is supported by 6 underwater platforms made of steel.
Costa Concordia has to be towed back to shore somewhere far away from Giglio and to end her journey for broken apart for scrap.
It is a unique operation, never before done in the maritime history, to lift such a giant ship near the coast. Costa Concordia weighs 100,000 tons, twice more than Titanic(52,000 tons) having almost the same length(Costa Concordia 291m, Titanic - 269m). There was a big possibility the ship to broke apart during the salvage operation.
Estimated cost of the salvage operation is about $800 million. The company owner could not just leave the ship because it is a threat to the environment and because is too close to the shore. According to engineers this was the perfect time to upright the cruise liner.
Next steps are repairing the damage after months underwater and of course the damage of rotating the giant. Engineer Sloan informed:
"We have to do a really detailed inspection of the damage," he said. "She was strong enough to come up like this, she's strong enough to be towed."
Before the towing operation engineers have to be sure that Costa Concordia will be able to move safely.
Costa Concordia cruise liner suffered damage hitting a reef near Giglio Island on Jan. 13, 2012, 32 passengers died of total 4,200 passengers and crew members.