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article imageWork to refloat Costa Concordia finally gets underway in Italy

By Marcus Hondro     Jun 4, 2012 in World
The work to refloat the Costa Concordia, the Italian cruise ship that listed and tipped over off the island of Giglio Jan. 13, has finally begun. It is expected to take about one year to right the ship and tow her to a port to be scrapped.
The job started on June 1 and it is a big one. The 114,500 tonnes ship will be the largest to be refloated in maritime history and it's being done by Titan Salvage of Pompano Beach, Florida, who are working with an Italian company, Micoperi. Titan Salvage has done over 350 salvage jobs worldwide.
Only half-submerged on a rocky ledge near the shore of the island, to achieve a refloating of the cruise ship they'll first stabilize her by building a platform underneath. The plan will then see them pull her upright by using giant cranes along with a giant balloon situated on the side of the boat that rests outside of the water. The entire operation is expected to cost some $300 million.
Costa Concordia tragedy: 2 bodies still missing
There were 4,229 passengers and crew onboard when captain Francesco Schettino steered the liner too close to the shore, reportedly to salute a crewmember's relative on Giglio. The 290 metres long liner hit rocks and listed over into the water. Thirty-two people died and there are still two bodies yet to be recovered. Schettino is under house arrest at his home near Naples, where he awaits his trial on multiple charges, including causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship.
A Dutch company, Smit Salvage, has already safely removed the 2,300 tonnes of heavy fuel and more than 200 tonnes of diesel oil from the 17 tanks on the ship. The island of Giglio lies in the Tuscan Bay in an area that is a marine sanctuary with dolphins, species of whales, porpoises and other marine life.
More about Costa Concordia, sunken cruise liner off coast of italian lisland o, Captain Francesco Schettino, titan salvage
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