The Costa Concordia, the Italian liner that listed and partially submerged in January, is back in the news. The American company involved in removing it, Titan Salvage, now expects to have the ship refloated and towed away by the Spring of 2013.
The initial plan from Titan Salvage, working with the Italian company, Micoperi, was to have the ship up and towed to an undisclosed Italian port for salvaging by the end of January. Cristiano De Musso, communications director for Costa Cruises, the owner/operator of the ship, released a rough timeline of the operation in June.
At that time he said they expected the ship to have been stabilized by August 31, to have all the necessary platforms built by November 15 and to pull her upright by Jan. 15. But on Thursday the word came that the many technical requirements have caused that timeline to be unrealistic.
“Companies engaged in the salvage operation believe the new schedule is a realistic estimate, and all partners are committed to maximizing efficiency while maintaining the same high level of safety and environmental protection,” Costa Cruises said in a statement. “It is a dynamic and evolutionary project, and the different phases have to be continuously verified and confirmed through coordination with technicians and researchers on site."
Schettino: Charged with causing shipwreck
Thirty-two died when the captain is alleged to have taken the Costa Concordia too close to shore and it capsized; 30 bodies have been recovered. The captain, Francesco Schettino, is at his home near Naples awaiting his trial on charges including causing a shipwreck, manslaughter and abandoning his ship. He denies being responsible for the tragedy and claims that he did not abandon ship but tripped and fell into a lifeboat.
He is reported to be writing a book about the disaster.