Things began moving apace this week off the coast of Giglio, Italy in the Tuscan Bay as companies working on the Costa Concordia began removing items from the deck. The ship capsized into the water on Jan. 13 and has been half-submerged there since.
Among other items, salvage workers this week removed much of the mast, the giant 'C' for the name of the ship, the slide for the swimming pool and parts of the radar equipment. The work, being done jointly by the American firm, Titan Salvage and the Italian firm, Micoperi, is necessary now so vessels needed to work close to that area of the boat can do so.
“The preliminary work has begun before the ship is stabilized, which will happen in the next few months,” Sergio Ortelli, mayor of Giglio, told media on Wednesday. The operation will see the ship refloated, towed away and then scrapped at an as yet undetermined port; it's expected to cost $300 million.
Timeline for removal of Costa Concordia
Last week, Cristiano De Musso, communications director for Costa Cruises, owner and operator of the Costa Concordia, released a rough timeline of the operation. They expect the ship to have been stabilized by August 31, to build necessary platforms by November 15 and to have pulled her upright by Jan. 15. They will then work further on cleaning up the seabed.
Thirty-two died when the captain took the boat too close to the shore and it capsized, but only 30 bodies are recovered. The captain, Francesco Schettino, is under house arrest near Naples, awaiting the start of a trial on charges including causing a shipwreck, manslaughter and abandoning his ship. He is reported to be writing a book about the tragedy.
Mayor Ortelli of Giglio, De Musso and the Italian Civil Protection Department are giving regular updates on how the work is progressing.