The Costa Concordia has sat 300 metres off the coast of the Italian island of Giglio for 16 months and it appears it will be there about 7 more. The manager of the Titan Salvage operations to remove the ship, Todd Busch, said they'll tow away in December
Speaking on radio last week with Dick Gordon of American Public Media, Busch said the Florida-based Titan Salvage, working with the Italian company, Micoperi, is well along the way to refloating the 114,500 tonnes ship. Titan Salvage and Micoperi are putting in place a series of floatation devices alongside the ship and when the time comes will raise it up and tow it away.
“I remember coming over on the ferry and looking at it. It was a very impressive sight,” Busch told Gordon about the first time he saw the Costa Concordia. “I was just thinking, ‘Something doesn’t look right here.’ It was almost surreal.”
Costa Concordia listed over after hitting reef
The ship listed over after hitting a reef on Jan. 13, 2012. Of the 4,000 plus passengers and crew, 32 died, including a 5-year-old girl, with all but two of the bodies recovered. The captain, Francesco Schettino, allegedly ordered the ship too close to shore, going dramatically off-course to 'salute' a retired former-colleague on Giglio. The ship hit a reef, tearing a massive hole in the hull, and she listed over badly, with 65 percent of the Costa Concordia now underwater.
Schettino, known in Italy as 'The Chicken of the Sea', has been charged with manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning his ship. His preliminary trial has recently wrapped up. Five others have also been charged with offences related to the disaster, including an employee who was working at the company's crisis center that night.
The Costa Concordia's final destination will be the nearby port of Piombino, where it will be salvaged for parts. Busch said the work to refloat the Costa Concordia is going well.