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." (Read more Costa Concordia stories.)