Tuesday, September 17, 2013

LIVE VIDEO: Capsized COSTA CONCORDIA Hauled Upright Off Rocks In Italy


After a costly, painstaking and potentially perilous operation to raise the battered hull of the cruise ship Costa Concordia, engineers succeeded in righting the ship, removing it from two granite reefs where it ran aground last year, killing 32 people.

The 19-hour, highly complicated salvage operation had managed to completely rotate the ship, leaning it on an underwater platform built underneath.

Preparations for the salvage operation took 14 months, and the cost has increased to $799 million from $300 million and could rise further, according to Costa Cruises. The Costa Concordia has been stabilized with anchors and cement bags, and underwater platforms have been built on the port side. Salvage crews used pulleys, strand jacks and steel cables placed on nine caissons attached to the left side of the ship to slowly dislodge it on Monday from the two rocks where it had been resting.

The operation was monitored by engineers and remotely operated vehicle pilots from a control room on a barge close to the bow of the ship. If images or sonar showed dangerous twisting, the technicians could adjust the process. At a command center onshore, engineers could intervene if the ship did not rotate, or did not rotate properly.

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The operation was broadcast live on television and the Internet. The Italian news media portrayed the salvage as a chance for Italy to revamp its image after the wreck, in which the captain fled the damaged ship and the evacuation was chaotic.

The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is scheduled to go on trial this fall on charges of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning  the vessel before everyone was safe. He has denied wrongdoing. A company official and four crew members have already pleaded guilty to reduced charges.