Costa Concordia Salvage Operation Begins

Costa Concordia salvage operations is set to begin in Italy.

Italian Authorities have finally given green light for pull upright the shipwrecked cruise liner from the waters in Tuscany region in an attempt that has never been ever undertaken in such conditions. Photo: Oleg MrFavo/Flickr

The cruise liner Costa Concordia went down the sea about 20 months ago, and Italy’s national Civil Protection agency was forced to put salvage operation until sea and weather conditions became favourable for the operations.

In a statement Sunday, the Civil Protection agency said the sea and wind conditions “fall within the range of operating feasibility.”

According to BBC, the lifting up the wreckled liner is expected to take up to 12 hours. The salvage operation will mark the first time engineers to lift such a huge ship so close to land.

During the tragic collision with the rocks thirty-two people died. The bodies of two of the dead, a passenger and a crew member, have never been recovered and they are now believed to be found during the operation.

The Italian Civil Protection Authority revealed that now the sea and weather conditions are quite fovaurable for the salvage operations.

Sergio Girotto, an engineer working on the project, told the media that the resque operation will be conducted as planned: “Everything is going according to plan, we are following the plan to sequence… There is no problem whatsoever.”

He went on, adding that after the operation had been going for a couple of hours, “we should be able to see something with the naked eye”.

Local authorities revealed that about 50 enormous chains and winches will be used to put the cruise liner into the needed position. On Monday the ship is expected to be placed on a specially prepared underwater steel platform.

And after the liner is back up on her keel it will become possible to examine it thoroughly and to prepare it for the next stage – the effort to repair and re-float it – and eventually tow it away to be destroyed.

The head of the operation, Nick Sloane, told reporters that it was now or never for the Costa Concordia, which size exceeds the Titanic’s, as the body of the liner was gradually weakening and might not survive a few more months.

The plan of the ship recovery must be conducted in a very slow way in order to prevent further damage to the hull, which has spent more than 18 months partially submerged in 15 metres in water and fully exposed to the elements.

Giglio mayor Sergio Ortelli suggested that the removal of the ship would bring an end to “a huge problem that we have in our port and that we want to solve as soon as we can”.

“Islanders can’t wait to see the back of it,” the mayor added.

Costa Concordia with thousands of passengers on board ran aground off Italy’s coast in January, 2012.

The vessel hit a rock and made a huge gash in the ship’s hull more than 150ft (45m) long.

More than 4,000 people were on board who had to leave the vessel as it listed and then grounded just 300 yards from shore.

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