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Friday, 13 September 2013

Costa Concordia cruise ship to be hauled upright

The operation to roll the giant ship, which capsized off the Italian island of Giglio on Jan 13, 2012, with the loss of 32 lives, is due to start at first light on Monday.
A complex system of hydraulic jacks and steel cables will pull the ship, which is wedged on two granite pinnacles in shallow water a few yards off Giglio’s rocky shore, into an upright position.
Salvage experts strenuously downplayed the possibility that the 950ft-long cruise ship could break up under the tremendous forces that will be exerted on its hull, but conceded that the plan to raise it had seemed “crazy” until just a few months ago.
If all goes according to plan, the ship then come to rest on a huge underwater platform, made up of steel girders and more than 1,000 sacks of cement.
More than 30,000 tons of steel have been used in the fabrication of all the components required to lift the ship – equivalent to four times the weight of the Eiffel Tower.
Costa Concordia lies on its side next to Giglio Island
The Costa Concordia lies on her side next to Giglio Island. Weather permitting, on Monday the operation to right the 950 foot vessel will commence.Picture: REUTERS
Costa Concordia ship lying on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio
Last winter saw some of the worst weather Giglio had seen for nearly fifty years, and the salvage attempt ground to a virtual standstill. Experts fear that another winter would break up the cruise ship, causing extensive environmental damage.Picture: AP
Costa Concordia as it lies on her side next to Giglio Island,
The salvage operation will be the largest, costliest and most complex operation in history, estimated to be £505 millionPicture: REUTERS
Costa Concordia as it lies on her side next to Giglio Island
Divers and engineers have filled ballast bags below the ship with 18,000 tonnes of cement to try to prevent the ship breaking up as she is rightedPicture: REUTERS
Costa Concordia as it lies on her side next to Giglio Island
Six underwater platforms have been built, on which it is hoped the ship will rest as she comes uprightPicture: REUTERS
Costa Concordia as it lies on her side next to Giglio Island is pictured from an Italian navy helicopter
The largest of these platforms weighs about 1,000 tonnes, anchored by drilling into the granite that lies beneath the shipPicture: REUTERS
Costa Concordia as it lies on her side next to Giglio Island,
On Monday, computer-operated jacks will slowly tighten the cables around the ship, in an operation expected to last up to twelve hours. The technique is known as parbuckling, but it has never been used on a vessel this big.Picture: REUTERS
Graphic showing the proposed righting of the Costa Concordia
Pulleys will pull steel chains weighing 17,000 tonnes that are looped around the ship. Tanks on the part of the ship above the waterline have been filled with water to help the rotation.Picture: Massimo Procopio / Splash News
Costa Concordia as it lies on her side next to Giglio Island
Fishing nets will be deployed beneath the ship to catch debris falling from the vessel as she movesPicture: AP
Costa Concordia as it lies on her side next to Giglio Island, pictured from an Italian navy helicopterNick Sloane from Titan Salvage is in charge of the operation. He says recovery of the bodies of the two passengers believed to still be inside the wreck is one of his priorities.Picture: REUTERS
32 people died when the Concordia rammed into Giglio after its captain, Francesco Schettino, took the ship too close to shore in a misjudged “salute” to the island.
the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia lays on its starboard sideThe scene on the night of the disaster. The ship has gradually slipped further and further into the water.Picture: AP
Members of the emergency services crawl along the side of the half submerged cruise liner Costa ConcordiaMembers of the emergency services crawl along the side of the half submerged cruise liner, searching for survivors on the day after the crashPicture: EPA
Source; The Telegraph, UK.

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