The communications head for Costa Cruises, the owner/operator of the Costa Concordia, the half-sunk liner off the Italian island of Giglio in the Tuscan Bay, has released a timeline of the work they're doing to refloat the boat.
In a Thursday email release to media, Cristiano De Musso gave an extremely detailed accounting of when they expect to have the various stages of the refloat of the partially sunk boat completed by. Their plan is to strengthen the underside of the boat to make certain it does not slip further down the rocky reef it's on, attach a large balloon to the side that sits out of the water and then pull it upright.
Along the way they'll repair holes in the boat that occurred when it hit the rocks. When all of that is done they'll be able to tow it to an (as yet undecided) dock to be salvaged. The timeline De Musso released suggests the boat will be gone from the area by the end of January.
Refloating the Costa Concordia
Here are the dates and jobs expected to be done by them: site inspection is ongoing through July 31; "securing and stabilizing" the ship until August 31; installing and stabilizing of caissons (watertight chambers) and building marine platforms by Nov. 15; installing what De Musso called 'boxes' on the right side of the ship by Dec. 1; up-righting the ship by Jan. 15 and towing it to an Italian port by Jan. 31.
There will be work on the flora and sea-bed, cleaning and replanting, that is expected to take, De Musso's email said, up to the end of April. Titan Salvage of America and Microperi of Italy are the two principal companies undertaking the boat refloat and are part of the clean-up.
Thirty-two people died when the ship went too close to shore on Jan. 13 and capsized; 30 bodies have been recovered. The captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest at his home near Naples, awaiting the start of his trial on multiple charges, including causing a shipwreck, manslaughter and abandoning his ship.
Schettino is reported to be writing a book about the tragedy.