GIGLIO HARBOUR, ITALY — Just twenty months after the Costa Concordia cruise liner capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio, killing 32 people, the cruise ship has been raised from the Mediterranean after a successful 19 hour salvage operation.
The operation which began on Monday morning, September 16, required 6,000 tons of pressure to pull the ship free from the rock, which had penetrated 18 feet into the hull.
Watch video of raised Costa Concordia Cruise Liner
The salvage was completed by 4am on Tuesday morning, September 17, after the 950-foot-long, 114,000-ton vessel had been pulled through 65 degrees to stand on a bed of over 1,000 concrete sacks and six huge underwater platforms. As it rose out of the water in the early hours of Tuesday, two large indentations could be seen on the side of the ship where it had been pinioned on the rocks.
Italy’s civil protection chief, Franco Gabriell said, “The rotation has finished its course, we are at zero degrees, the ship is resting on the platforms,” as residents of the island cheered after more than 50 giant pulleys hauled the shipwrecked vessel back to an upright position in a 19-hour operation.
“It could not have gone better than this,” said Franco Porcellacchia, an engineer working on the salvage for ship owner Costa Cruises. “It was a perfect operation.”
On January 2012, the Costa Concordia grounded near the port of Giglio after its captain, Francesco Schettino, smashed it into coastal rock during a so-called ‘sail past’.
Schettino is now standing trial on charges of manslaughter and abandoning his ship.
Blog post by maritime lawyer Gordon, Elias & Seely, LLP