Costa Concordia Is Upright Again

Biggest-ever passenger ship salvage operation; now ready to be towed

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 14, 2014 2:53 AM CDT | Updated Jul 14, 2014 7:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – More than two years after it capsized off the coast of an Italian island, CNN reports that workers have refloated the Costa Concordia in the final phase of the biggest-ever passenger ship salvage. In an operation expected to take up to a week, air was pumped into tanks attached to the side of the wrecked cruise ship, which is more than twice the size of the Titanic, the BBC reports. An engineer with the cruise operator says that the effort is unprecedented. "As with anything being done for the first time, there are risks. But we are confident," he says.

The huge ship will now be towed back to its home port of Genoa, where it will be broken up, the Guardian reports. Residents of the island of Giglio, where the ship struck a reef during a "sail-past," will be glad to see the back of it. "I am happy they are taking it away because to see a ship like that always there, with the deaths that happened, it gives us the shivers," a ferry worker tells Reuters. Captain Francesco Schettino—who was caught on tape refusing to reboard the ship he abandoned—is on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship. The body of one of the 32 people who died on board, Indian waiter Russell Rebello, was never recovered and authorities say the search will now resume.

A small boat passes next to the damaged side of the Costa Concordia on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)
Tourists relax on rocks in front of the Costa Concordia wreckage.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
A view of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, flanked by the two huge tanks that were used to put it afloat, on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, July 14, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alessandro La Rocca, LaPresse)
A view of the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, flanked by the two huge tanks that were used to put it afloat, on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, July 14, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alessandro La Rocca, LaPresse)
Workers carry on the operations on the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia, to put put it afloat, on the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Monday, July 14, 2014.   (AP Photo/Alessandro La Rocca, LaPresse)
In this file photo taken on Sept. 18, 2013 a small boat passes next to the damaged side of the Costa Concordia on Giglio, Italy.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini, file)
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