Success: Crews Salvage Costa Concordia

19-hour process was 'perfect': Costa tech head

By Matt Cantor,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 17, 2013 2:07 AM CDT | Updated Sep 17, 2013 6:03 AM CDT

(Newser) – Crews have pulled off one of the toughest salvage projects in history, managing to restore the wrecked Costa Concordia to an upright position off an Italian island. The effort took 19 hours—longer than the expected 10 to 12—and lasted until 4am local time. The "parbuckling" process used pulleys and chains to bring the ship upright; once it was pulled high enough, attached water tanks helped right it using gravity. Despite the effort's length, "it was a perfect operation, I would say," notes the technical head.

Still, it's likely to be the priciest maritime salvage project of all time; it's cost some $800 million so far, the BBC notes. Locals cheered when the mission was completed; they've been dealing with the sight of the wrecked vessel for more than a year, Reuters observes. "Islanders can't wait to see the back of it," says the mayor of the island of Giglio. Adds the engineer leading the project: "A lot of people said it couldn't be done ... I feel good. It's time for a beer."

The Costa Concordia is seen after it was lifted upright on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, early Tuesday morning, Sept. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
The Costa Concordia rests upright on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, early Tuesday morning, Sept. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
The Costa Concordia ship lies on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
In this three-photo combo taken, from top, at 12:04 GMT, 16:33 GMT, and 17:52 GMT, the Costa Concordia ship lies on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
A detail of the right side of the Costa Concordia is seen after it was lifted upright.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
The Costa Concordia ship lies on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
Cables used to lift up the Costa Concordia emerge from the water on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrea Sinibaldi, Lapresse)
The Costa Concordia ship as it lies on its side on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013.   (AP Photo/Alessandro La Rocca, Lapresse)
The Costa Concordia is seen after it was lifted upright on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy, early Tuesday morning, Sept. 17, 2013.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)
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