The announced salvage operation of capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship is in the full swing.
An American-owned specialist marine salvage and wreck removal company Titan Salvage alongside with Italian firm Micoperi have been awarded a Costa Concordia wreck removal contract in April. Together they presented a plan to refloat and tow away the cruise ship to one of the Italian ports where she will likely be scrapped.
The salvage plan is the world’s biggest and most complex ship salvage operation and it will cost at least 400 million euros ($525 million), Carnival Cruise says.
To remind, Costa Concordia cruise ship, owned by Carnival Corporation, capsized on Giglio island in January claiming the lives of 32 passengers.
Now the 950-foot long ship, with its gross tonnage of 114,500 GT, is lying on granite rock in the protected environmental marine and is waiting for refloating. More than 450 specialists, involved in this operation, completed the stabilization of the ship on the sea shore with four massive cables looped beneath her belly to prevent the ship from sliding down in to the depths of the sea.
The next step was to drill holes, in granite rock, for the pillars which will support football field size underwater platforms on which will the ship be leaned. To put the ship in upright position, large metal tanks will be welded on the side to make balance of the wreckage during the process of uprighting the ship. More tanks will be welded on the other side of the ship. The tanks will be filled with air which will lift the ship from the seabed. The ship will then be towed to the designated Italian port.
Once the ship is departed, the entire structure, used during the recovery operations, will be removed and the seagrass replanted, according to Titan Salvage and Micoperi.
World Maritime News Staff, November 2, 2012; Image: Titan Salvage