Cruises Forums

Post New Topic

Recent Activity

View all Cruises activity »
  1. 1 Trip Report Carnival Vista, Cruisers Log.. Star Date 24.05.2016 AD
  2. 2 Avoid Crowds on Greek Cruise
  3. 3 Sources for finding last minute deals on cruises from Seattle to Alaska?
  4. 4 Juneau excursions Alaska Cruise
  5. 5 Family First Timers
  6. 6 alaska cruise
  7. 7 Cruise Port in Livorno - Day Trip to Pisa and Lucca
  8. 8 Trip Report Cruise to Hawaii from the mianland
  9. 9 One-way cruise to Alaska June 2016
  10. 10 Trip Report Viking River Cruise Disappoints
  11. 11 Trip Report We finally made up our minds...
  12. 12 Sailing On A Vista
  13. 13 Trip Report Alaska Shore excursion on the cheap
  14. 14 Princess vs. Norwegian
  15. 15 Rome to port at Civitavecchia
  16. 16 Trip Report Viking Ocean Cruise nightmare
  17. 17 The Cruise to pick to go this June
  18. 18 AMA Waterways River Cruises
  19. 19 How to plan 1 day in Copenhagen
  20. 20 Mediterranean cruise on celebrity constellation
  21. 21 Trip Report Oasis Lite: Review of Navigator of the Seas
  22. 22 one way or R/T to Alaska on Princesss
  23. 23 Trip Report Baltic Cruise in June
  24. 24 Alaska cruise excursions tips & logistics help
  25. 25 MSC Divina
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.

Advertisement