Nearly 20 months ago, the Costa Concordia ran into the seabed just off the cost of Italy. Since then, the boat has been stuck on rocks and unable to move. Now engineers have been able to lift the cruise ship off the rocks. Due to the size of the ship and its location, this has proven to be one of the most challenging salvage tasks that the world has ever seen. The fact that they were able to remove the ship from the rocks that it ran into 20 months ago shows just how far technology has come.
So far, they have been unable to completely remove the ship from the water. However, they have removed it from the rocks and have the ship sitting upright on a platform that has been constructed on the sea bed. Officials believe that this is the first step in removing the ship completely from the water.
This ship, which has been an eyesore for a while now, ran into rocks just off the coast of Giglio in January of 2012. This accident actually led to the death of 32 people. The ship remaining just off the coast has been a consistent reminder of this tragic event for a long time now. The people in the area say that they are glad to see that the ship has finally been removed from the rocks.
One reason why authorities have been so set on getting the ship sitting upright is so that they can get into the boat and continue looking around. Police are hoping to find the bodies of two people who remain missing. Although these people are believed to be dead, the police and family members would like to find the bodies for closure.
Bringing this huge cruise ship upright has been a big undertaking. The Italian Civil Protection Authority says that it chose to bring it up now because weather conditions have been right for it. Had they not done it now, officials did not know when they would get another chance. It was important to do it now before the season and weather change.
Despite all the careful planning, they still ran into a few problems. For example, the operation still had to be delayed because of a storm that came up extremely quickly. The storm delayed the plan to put a barge in place. This barge is needed because it carries a remote control room that the engineers would be using to be closer to the ship during the extraction.
In the end, the engineers were able to set the ship upright using a system of counterweights and pulleys. The goal was to get the ship sitting up enough at an angle that it would naturally start rising on its own. Of course, the ship will not be able to stay afloat on its own due to the damage that it has taken.
Although the ship is in a good position now engineer Sergio Girotto, who is working on this project, said that they are far from done. That being said, everything is moving smoothly, and they are pleased with the results so far.