On January 13, 2012, a large cruise liner, the Costa Concordia, ran aground close to an island, off the coast of Italy. There the wreckage remained until today. The Costa Concordia is upright again following a successful and complicated salvage operation.
The Costa Concordia ran aground resulting in the death of 32 people and the rescue operation was harrowing. Two people are still officially missing. Monday the operation to raise the Costa Concordia began.
A local Beverley firm worked with other teams to raise the liner which had remained aground close to the Isola del Giglio, Tuscany.
The teams used enough mechancial gear to raise two Eiffel Towers.The operation was not be without danger. It was initially delayed by hours due to bad weather but finally began at 9am local time (8am).
The planned 12 hour operation took longer than anticipated. Early Monday. Sky News reported: "All checks have been carried out and the operation has begun," said Fabrizio Curcio, the deputy Civil Protection chief.
During the salvage operation the wreck was lifted and gradually turned which could have resulted in "parbuckling". In a worst case scenario the wreckage could have shattered and spilled wreckage into the surrounding waters. The rescue effort cost around €600m (£503m). Once lifted the liner will be dismantled.
Reports claim that the Costa was set upright without any damage to the surrpunding waters and environment.
The salvage operators were aiming to keep the hull of the 114,000-ton vessel in tact and they achieved their goal. "Much will depend on how firmly the ship is wedged onto two pinnacles of underwater granite where it came to rest on the night of January 13, 2012, prompting the evacuation of 4,200 passengers and crew" reports Sky News.
If possible the salvage crew will retrieve the final two passengers, who are believed to have died in the tragedy.
BBC News reports Tuesday: "The ship was declared completely upright shortly after 04:00 local time (02:00 GMT) on Tuesday. Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy's Civil Protection Authority, said the vessel was now sitting on a platform built on the sea bed. "A perfect operation, I must say," said Franco Porcellacchia, leader of the technical team for Costa Cruise, the owner of the ship."