The long-awaited removal of the Costa Concordia wreck from Giglio Island will have to wait for yet another day as the final date has been pushed for Wednesday, July 23rd, according to the latest briefing by salvage officials.
The delays in refloating of the ship along with execution of pre-departure activities have pushed the final towage date of the wreck. Bad weather conditions have also played a role in putting off the date as they hampered connection of chains on the wreck’s sponsons over the past few days.
All commercial traffic will be halted tomorrow in the port of Giglio so as to make sure the towage team has smooth sailing, especially during the move-off, which is expected to take up to six hours.
In addition, the wreck will most likely be turned around in order to be able to head for Genoa immediately.
The refloating operation has finally seen the ship’s prow emerge from the water as the wreck was lifted for 12 meters from the seabed and is now sitting on an artificial platform awaiting its final journey. There are a couple of meters to go before the wreck reaches its final towing draft of 18.5 meters.
The ill-fated ship is expected to reach Genoa on Sunday, having spent four days at sea while under tow by AHTS’ MV ITC Blizzard and MV Resold Earl. The wreck will be escorted by a convoy of 14 vessels ensuring that everything goes well.
The Costa Concordia ran aground off Giglio in January 2012 claiming 32 lives.
Time-lapse of the refloating operations for the Day 7 and 8:
World Maritime News Staff, July 22nd, 2014