Im sure many here have seen this, but my friend sent all this to me y'day, and I thought I would share it. A bit of a mouthful
The Costa Concordia rests on its side on the morning of January 14, 2012.
On the night of January 13, 2012, the 114,500 ton Costa Concordia ran aground at Isola del Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people and eventually coming to rest alongside a reef just outside the sleepy island’s only port. The event kicked off a flurry of regulatory changes in the cruise ship industry, not to mention what would become the largest and most expensive maritime salvage in history.The plan was to raise the vessel in one piece using an age-old technique known as “parbuckling,” which basically means using leverage to rotate a ship or large opbject to an upright position, before towing it away from the island. Over the last year a team of about 500 salvage workers and engineers has worked around the clock to make sure the parbuckling, easily the most crucial part of salvage, went off without a hitch. There was no plan B, so it had to work… and it did.
The parbuckling operation was expected to start at 6 a.m. CEST (local Giglio time) on September 16, 2013 and last 10 to 12 hours, however, overnight thunderstorms prevented salvage crews from making final preparations.
The parbuckling would eventually begin at 9 a.m., three hours behind schedule.
The ship was raised, salvage crews worked on the parts of the ship previously hidden beneath the waves to clear any obstructions that may get in the way. (crews are seen removing mysterious grafitti from the deck. Italian “Meow Man” maybe? Who knows…)
About midway through the first phase of the operation, officials gave an update that the ship had been rotated 10 degrees from its starting position and was now entirely off the reef for the first time in nearly two years. A sigh of relief for sure, as it was unclear just how firmly the ship was wedged into the rock prior to the lift.
The first phase was the pulling of the ship upright. The second phase involved lowering the ship by ballasting the sponsons, or caissons, attached to the ship’s port side, gently lowering her onto underwater platforms.
The parbuckling was held up for one hour as crews performed maintenance on the strand jacks, adjusting tension to the lines. It was at this point that officials said the operation would take longer than expected, continueing through the night and into the wee hours of Tuesday morning.
After 25 degrees of rotation, the parbuckling entered the second phase. It was now time for gravity to take over. Crews carefully adjusted the water levels in the steel sponsons to gently lower the ship to an upright position. The movement of the ship would pick up at this point.
At about 4 a.m. CEST Tuesday, officials announced the successful completion of the parbuckling after 19 hours of work.
The first photos of the ship’s submerged side were shocking. Then again, the ship has spent the last 20 months being crushed under its own weight.
Nick Sloane, the South African Salvage Master who has led the operation for the Titan-Micoperi consortium, stands in front of the shipwreck in the days leading up to the parbuckling. Little did he know then that the successful parbuckling would earn him rockstar status. Ok maybe he knew.
Nick Sloane, who had been calling the shots from an offshore command post, returned to Giglio to a heros welcome, and mobbed by press. Congratulations, Nick! Someone get that guy a beer!!
A side view of the ship showed where it was resting on two rock outcrops. Now you can see why getting the ship off the rocks was so crucial.
With the parbuckling completed, crews will now install similar sponsons to the ships previously submerged starboard side. Within a month the Costa Concordia is expected to be floating once again.
I read about that and saw the photos shortly after it happened. I suppose they had to move the vessel, couldn't leave it sitting there in the harbor. I was surprised they chose to keep it whole. I would have expected them to cut it in pieces and haul them away. Is it salvageable? I don't think I would want to ever sail on it after what it has been through.
Barbara and Freya, I agree. I'm just in in awe of the team who undertook to do it, since it is reported she was wedged in between rocks and first had to be lowered into the water.
I wouldn't sail on another boat again regardless, after my last experience. I don't have sea legs and I feel claustrophobic. I was able to do short trips around here to the little islands and Freya on your side, to Manly on the ferry and Barbara on your end in Florida, but nope, not again on cruises, especially if they hit rocks and tip the boat.
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