Delayed by three hours because of strong thunderstorms, the unprecedented operation of salvaging the massive Costa Concordia cruise liner began today, September 16, 2013 in the Giglio Island.
With a process known as par buckling, crews are sinking portions of the Costa Concordia deep underwater, and then will proceed to pull the ship off the seabed and rotate it onto giant platforms 30 meters (about 98 feet) below the water level. Areas of the ship that have been dry for months will be submerged and filled with water.
A ship this large and this heavy — weighing 114,000 tons — has never been par buckled before making this the largest maritime salvage operation and the most expensive too, costing nearly $800 million so far.
The operation is extremely delicate, because the ship is filled with noxious substances and because it believed that the two missing bodies are still trapped somewhere in the ship.
Initially the whole operation was believed to take no longer than 12 hours. But progress was slower than expected, and by midday the ship had been raised by three degrees, a fraction of the 65 degrees that will make it sit upright on the underwater platforms. Franco Gabrielli, head of the Protezione Civile has stated that the operations will continue throughout the night, into Tuesday, and that there should be no rush in proceeding with the operation as there are many factors at stake.
See below for a diagram of the steps for this massive undertaking.
This disaster resulted in the deaths of 32 people. Since then there have been claims filed by passengers and crewmembers. We have helped many obtain settlements.
This was a senseless incident which should never happen again. It is sad it took this type of disaster to get the cruise ship industry to come to the plate and make necessary safety changes. However, with big corporations, our tort system, holding these corporations accountable, is the only way to get these profit oriented company focus on safety.
I have been handling maritime cases, and great deal of them involving cruise ship companies, for 30 years. The cruise ship industry is one industry that has been mostly self-policed and regulated. The cruise ship companies avoid paying us taxes. The industry avoids stringent regulations. Until recently it was not even mandatory for a cruise ship company to report a sexual assault or disappearance to the United States authorities!
Our firm continues to be safety advocates for those harmed at sea.