Costa Concordia Recovery At Final Stage

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Salvage crew looks at the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia during the “parbuckling” operation, outside Giglio harbour September 16, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

In one of the most difficult and expensive salvage operations in maritime history, the Costa Concordia is finally being pulled from the rocks off the coast of Italy.  Thirty two people lost their lives in January 2012 when the inattentive captain, Francesco Schettino, ran the cruise ship into the ground.  He then bailed from his post, leaving his passengers behind to go down with the ship.  Two bodies were never recovered.

According to Reuters,

“We have started the final phase of the rotation,” Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection Authority told reporters. “We are approaching the final phase of the operation,” he said, adding that the operation could be complete by 4.00 a.m (1000 ET). …

“Everything has gone has gone smoothly, as expected and this last phase should go as safely as possible,” said Franco Porcellacchia, leader of Costa Cruise’s technical team.

As searchlights lit up the salvage scene in the port of Giglio, the flank of the ship was entirely off the rock shelf and raised far enough out of the sea to reveal a dirty brown water mark staining the white hull.

The Concordia was carrying more than 4,000 people when it hit rocks off Giglio and capsized. Two bodies have yet to be recovered and underwater cameras failed to find any sign of them as darkness fell.

“They must still be under the keel of the Concordia and I hope after this finally they will have a grave (their families)can cry over,” said Luciano Castro, a 49-year-old journalist who was on the ship when it sank.

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