Work starts to refloat Costa Concordia

Work starts to refloat Costa ConcordiaSalvage workers today started attempting to refloat the Costa Concordia more than two years after it sank off the Italian island of Giglio.

Divers and engineers will oversee the operation to raise the 114,500-tonne ship, which may still contain the body of one of the 32 people who died in the disaster.

The ship’s owner, Costa, hopes to finally raise the rusting vessel from the sea-bed in a week-long operation before towing it away to be scrapped in Genoa.

Engineers plan to raise the vessel from the artificial platform where it has rested since it was righted in another large-scale operation last September, the Times reported.

Nick Sloane, the South African salvage master in charge of the operation, was reported as saying this morning: “The risks are that the ship could bend as it is raised, or the chains underneath it could snap.

“There will be 42 people on board during the first manoeuvre. If disaster strikes we will evacuate through emergency escapes on the bow and stern.”

Once the ship is successfully raised off the platform, air will slowly be pumped into 30 tanks or “sponsons” attached to both sides of the 290-metre Concordia to expel the water inside and raise the ship.

The ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino, is on trial for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning the vessel before all passengers had evacuated.

Russel Rebello, an Indian waiter, is still missing and the refloating will include a new search of the ship as it is raised that may finally recover his body.

Concordia to be refloated by June

By Hollie-Rae Merrick 

Concordia to be refloated by JuneThe shipwrecked Costa Concordia could be re-floated by June, the engineer overseeing the salvage operation has said.

Franco Porcellacchia has reportedly told the residents of the Italian island of Giglio that giant floats will be fixed on to the sides of the ship by April, allowing the ship to float again.

Porcellacchia said he was “extremely confident” about the operation according to Zee News.

After re-floating the ship it will be towed to a nearby port were it will be scrapped. No decision has been made on which port it is taken too.

The Costa Concordia ran aground and partially sank in January 2012 with the loss of 32 lives.

In October the bodies of the two remaining missing victims were found by divers searching the ship.