Cruises Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Cruises activity »
  1. 1 Advice on cruise: Boston to Bahams
  2. 2 Orient Beach-non ship excursion
  3. 3 Trip Report Silversea the BEST
  4. 4 Silver Wind - Up To The Silverseas Standard?
  5. 5 Fall foliage cruise
  6. 6 Panama Canal
  7. 7 Trip Report Time To “Getaway”.... Again
  8. 8 Trip Report Very disappointed with Viking River Cruises
  9. 9 Holland America Nieuw Amsterdam Alaska Cruise Questions
  10. 10 Private guide Belize City
  11. 11 Trip Report Antarctica Trip Report, March 2015, 10 Days
  12. 12 low river levels
  13. 13 reviews of Azamara cruises??
  14. 14 NCL Pearl Panama Canal
  15. 15 Viking Basel to Amsterdam River Cruise this Oct 25th-Nov 1st?
  16. 16 Trip Report Cruise to Mexican Riviera, RT from SF on Grand Princess.
  17. 17 Port Canaveral
  18. 18 Trip Report French Polynesia Trip Report
  19. 19 Legal liability of Australians tipping. BEWARE
  20. 20 Trip Report Viking Review - Dont Buy the Hype
  21. 21 Grand Circle Elbe River Cruise 8/30/15
  22. 22 transportation to cruise ship from San Juan airport
  23. 23 Trip Report Beware of Grand Circle Travel and Overseas Adventure Travel
  24. 24 Trip Report NCl Getaway eastern Caribbean out of Miami
  25. 25 Trip Report QM2 - Queen Mary 2 - Transatlantic Trip Report
View next 25 » Back to the top

Salvaging the Concordia has begun.

Some six months after the worst cruise ship disaster of recent times, salvage crews have begun preliminary operations aimed at refloating Costa Concordia.

A barge has been positioned alongside the vessel, which lies mostly submerged on its starboard side on a rocky reef off the Italian island of Giglio. Preparations for the refloat will begin with removal of objects from the ship's top deck, including radar, waterslides and the distinctive yellow Costa funnel.

Two salvage companies, Titan Salvage, an American firm, and Italian-based Micoperi split a bid on the operation that is expected to cost more that $300 million and take nearly a year.

In what's being called an "unprecedented" effort, the Italo-American consortium will use pulling machines connected to a custom-built subsea platform to hoist the hull upright in one piece. The firms won the right to perform the work during a months-long bidding process.

The next step in the project is to stabilize the ship to prevent further slippage down the sloped seabed on which it rests. This will be achieved by attaching "tieback chains" from the submerged part of the ship (starboard side, closest to shore) to posts built nearby.

After Concordia is stabilized, the subsea platform will be built along the port side (the non-submerged side) and huge caissons, in essence steel boxes, will be welded onto the exposed side of the ship. The caissons will be filled with water. "This gives the ship extra buoyancy," explained Mark Hoddinott, general manager of the International Salvage Union (Hoddinott previously worked for Titan). "Caissons have the effect of making the ship wider, and the water will add mass, which improves the 'turning moment' to bring it upright."

Pulling machines will then be connected to the subsea platform, and two cranes fixed to the platform will pull Concordia upright -- facilitated by the water-filled caissons. (The ship will still be flooded, so it won't float; instead it will rest on the platform.) When the ship is upright, caissons will be welded to the starboard side of the hull. The caissons on both sides will then be de-ballasted -- after treating and purifying the water to protect the marine environment -- and filled with air.

"This strategy has been used on a smaller scale by both the US and Royal Navy," added Hoddinott. "But no one has removed a ship of this size." Concordia is 950 feet long and weighs 44,612 metric tons (or nearly 100 million pounds), according to Titan-Micoperi.

Once upright and stable, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port and dealt with in accordance with the requirements of Italian authorities (The underwater platform and posts will also be removed from the site.) Gianni Onorato, Costa's president, told Cruise Critic in early May that the ship will ultimately be scrapped.

No details on the specific cost of the project have been officially released, but a Costa spokesman said the figure could exceed $300 million.

According to a statement released by Costa in May, the "one piece" approach -- rather than slicing the ship up and barging it off bit by bit -- will "minimize environmental impact, protect Giglio's economy and tourism industry, and maximize safety." After the ship is removed, the sea bottom will be cleaned and marine flora replanted.

While the project is ongoing, the operation base will be located on the mainland near Piombino, where equipment and materials will be stored. This will mitigate impact on the island's port activities and leave Giglio's hotels open for tourists during the peak summer season.

The news this week comes shortly after a joint announcement by the Mayor of Giglio and Costa for plans to have the 80-ton boulder that's wedged in the hull of the ship removed and turned into a monument to be displayed in Giglio harbour.

Costa Concordia foundered on January 13, 2012. At least 30 people died, and two remain unaccounted for.

No Replies |Back to top

Sign in to comment.