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Righting the Costa Concordia


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  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    Work began this morning to finally right the Costa Concorida, one of the biggest maritime salvages in history. But thunderstorms have halted progress for a few hours:

     

    Costa Concordia salvage begins: Will it stay in one piece during righting?

     

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    Delayed by three hours because of strong thunderstorms, the unprecedented operation of salvaging the massive Costa Concordia cruise began Monday morning off the coast of Italy, near the island of Giglio. The giant vessel ran aground and tipped over in January 2012, killing 32 of the 4,200 people on board. Righting the ship could take up to two days, but engineer Sergio Girotto said he's an optimist, expecting the operation to take about 12 hours.
     
    "I don't think we will continue into the night," he said. "After we start pulling, we should see something." The Process It sounds counterintuitive, but in order to salvage the Costa Concordia, crews will sink portions of it deeper underwater. The ship will then be pulled off the seabed and rotated onto giant platforms 30 meters below the water level. Areas of the ship that have been dry for months will be submerged and filled with water.
     
    It's a process known as "parbuckling," and it's become a household term in Giglio, the tiny island that was transformed when the Costa Concordia ran aground off its coast in January 2012. A ship this large and this heavy -- weighing 114,000 tons -- has never been parbuckled before. Normally, crews would blow up the ship or take it apart on site. But officials say that's not an option with the Costa Concordia, because the ship is filled with toxins, and because there are two bodies still believed to be either trapped between the ship and its rocky resting place or somewhere deep in the ship's hollow hull.
     
    Waiter, passenger still missing
     
    The two missing victims from the cruise ship disaster are Russel Rebello of India, and Maria Grazia Trecarichi of Sicily, Italy. Rebello, 33, was a cruise waiter who was last seen helping passengers off the ship. Trecarichi was on the cruise to celebrate her 50th birthday with her 17-year-old daughter, one of thousands of people who survived the deadly shipwreck. On Monday, her daughter and husband will watch crews try to rotate the ship and, hopefully, find Trecarichi's remains.
     
    Technicians and salvage managers from all over the world will be watching closely to see what goes wrong and what works. "It will set the new standard for maritime salvage," Giovanni Ceccarelli, the project's engineering manager, told CNN. Hundreds of people and dozens of companies have collaborated on the preparations, but the parbuckling will come down to 12 people, including the salvage master and specialized technicians, who will be guiding the operation from inside a prefabricated control room set up on a tower on a barge in front of the ship.
     
    A complex operation
     
    Parbuckling, or righting, the ship could be done in a day or so -- provided the weather conditions agree. So far, they seem to be, officials said on a website tracking the operation.It's a major turning point in a salvage operation that has cost the Costa Crociere company, owned by American firm Carnival Cruises, more than $600 million -- so far. Tall towers anchored onto the rocky shoreline between the ship and the island have been fitted with computer-operated pulley-like wheels. As the rotation begins, the wheels will guide thick cables and chains pulling the middle third of the ship from under its belly toward Giglio island. At the same time, more chains and cables attached to hollow boxes that have been welded onto the ship's port side will pull the ship from the top toward the open sea.
     
    After about four to six hours, the pulleys and cables will be rendered useless as gravity takes over and the ship essentially finishes the process, relying on the buoyant boxes alone to control the speed at which it rights itself. Technicians will pump compressed air into the boxes to control the water levels, which will create buoyancy to slow the ship's rotation until it eventually comes to rest on makeshift "mattresses" put in place on the steel platforms. If all goes well, the ship will lift off the rocks in one piece and not separate or break apart. If things go wrong, it could be disastrous.Has master mariner in charge of salvage met his match?
     
    Toxins, other items onboard
     
    The ship contains a mix of toxins that would be devastating for the environment if leaked into the water, which would happen if the ship breaks apart or sinks. According to the Costa Concordia's inventory list published in the Italian press and confirmed by Costa, thousands of liters of thick lubricants, paints, insecticides, glue and paint thinners were on board before it set sail three hours before it crashed. There are also 10 large tanks of oxygen and 3,929 liters of carbon dioxide.
     
    That's not all.
     
    Refrigerators filled with milk, cheese, eggs and vegetables have been closed tight since the disaster. And the freezers that have not burst under the water pressure are still locked with their rotting thawed contents sealed inside, including 1,268 kilograms of chicken breasts, 8,200 kilograms of beef, 2,460 kilograms of cheese and 6,850 liters of ice cream.
     
    What's next
     
    As the ship rotates, much more water will enter the ship than will spill out, salvage operators say. That fresh seawater will dilute some of the toxic mix, but it will all eventually have to be purified and pumped out before the ship is towed across the sea for dismantling at its final port -- a location that remains to be determined. In the meantime, the salvage operators have set up two rings of oil booms with absorbent sponges and skirts that extend into the water to catch any debris that may escape.Once the ship is upright, it will be months before the contents are removed, likely not until it reaches its final port.
     
    At that time, Costa officials say they intend to remove personal effects from the state rooms and return those to each passenger, no matter how soggy the contents might be. None of that is expected to happen before next summer. Meanwhile, captain Francesco Schettino, who misguided the ship off course, faces charges of manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster and abandoning ship with passengers still on board. His trial resumes in Grosseto on September 23.
     
    A turning point
     
    Once the ship is upright, the salvage operation changes dramatically. A tiny robotic submarine with surveillance cameras will survey the damaged side of the ship and create the models they need to plan for the next phase of operations. "It will look like a high-impact car accident when it is lifted," Nick Sloane, the salvage master, told CNN. "It won't be pretty." For days, salvage workers have been running simulations and testing their equipment. A steady hum of machinery out on the wreckage site could be heard night and day in Giglio harbor. The ship looks nothing like it did months ago, when it seemed gigantic against the tiny island. Now giant cranes, barges and generator towers dwarf the wreckage. Success or failure, no matter what happens on Monday, the Concordia will never again look the same
     

    http://edition.cnn.com/2013/09/15/world/europe/italy-costa-concordia-salvage/

     

    http://youtu.be/2P-yhRaf_AA

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    Some demon T-storms still possible down there through this morning:

     

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    post-6667-0-37064800-1379321749_thumb.pn post-6667-0-35610100-1379321800_thumb.pn

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    It's on its way up:

     

     

    Costa Concordia: Ship Heaved Off Rocky Seabed

     

    Crews attempting to right the Costa Concordia have said they have successfully detached the wrecked cruise liner from the rocks on which it was impaled. The salvage operation got under way this morning, after a three-hour delay due to bad weather.
     
    Engineer Sergio Girotto said the crippled vessel would not budge for some three hours after the operation began. After 6,000 tons of pressure were applied, the vessel was pulled free from the rocks. Mr Girotto said: "We saw the detachment." The officials are following the operation thanks to undersea cameras. The rescue effort will see the giant ship gradually rotated and hauled 65 degrees back to upright position for eventual towing.
     
    The operation is expected to last up to 12 hours, taking it into Monday evening. Engineers say the lifting can continue after darkness falls. So far, the ship had been raised three degrees, said Mr Girotto. As it rose, an ever wider strip of rusted hull has emerged from the sea.

     

     

     

    http://news.sky.com/story/1142347/costa-concordia-ship-heaved-off-rocky-seabed

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    Posted
  • Location: North York Moors
  • Location: North York Moors

    It seems so slow but I expect it will 'accelerate' since the pull gets rapidly easier as it nears vertical.The main thing is it has not somehow hooked on rocks so far as we can see.

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    Posted
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    It seems so slow but I expect it will 'accelerate' since the pull gets rapidly easier as it nears vertical.

     

    I think the structure is now quite unstable and they are concerned it might rupture or collapse:

     

     

    Salvage master Nick Sloane said the Concordia has compressed some 10ft (3 metres) since the disaster. Schettino, captain of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, arrives for a pre-trial hearing for the Costa Concordia disaster, in Grosseto Captain Francesco Schettino is on trial for manslaughter "A ship is not designed to be on its side like that," he said.
     
    "The sheer mass of the weight of the ship has moulded her onto the reef and she has actually subsided about three metres around that reef since she first arrived here.

     

     

    http://news.sky.com/story/1116090/costa-concordia-crushing-under-own-weight

     

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  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    BBC live coverage, the salvage team think the first phase might be complete in the next 4 to 6 hours:

     

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-24104643

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  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    A salvage operation to raise upright the shipwrecked Costa Concordia has been completed successfully, officials say.

     

    Now to prepare it to be towed away next year.

     

     

    The 950ft-long ship, which in tonnage is more than twice as big as the Titanic, was finally raised at 4am local time, 2am GMT, from the rocky shallows in which it had lain since capsizing off the Italian island of Giglio on Jan 13, 2012. The ship came to rest on six specially-constructed, underwater platforms made of steel. It was a striking sight – its port side, which had remained out of the water, still a pristine white, while its starboard side, which was submerged for 20 months, was coated in brown scum and algae.The salvage revealed two huge holes that had been punched in the starboard side of the vessel when it keeled over onto a granite reef just a few hundred yards off Giglio.

     

    There were loud cheers and applause from the hundreds of salvage workers from more than 25 nationalities who have worked for more than a year on the complex effort of lifting the 115,000 ton ship, using a technique known as “parbucklingâ€. Divers, technicians and engineers were ferried in small boats from the barges and platforms around the wreck to Giglio’s port, where they ordered large bottles of beer to celebrate the completion of the project.
     
    A foghorn rang out across the island and the head of Italy's Civil Protection agency, Franco Gabrielli, announced that the ship had reached a fully vertical position after being successfully rotated 65 degrees. Nick Sloane, the South African chief salvage master, received a hero's welcome as he came ashore from a barge that had served as the floating control room for the operation. "Brilliant! Perfetto," Mr Sloane said, using some of the Italian he has learned over the past year on the island, off the coast of Tuscany. "It was a struggle, a bit of a roller coaster. But for the whole team it was fantastic. I think the whole team is proud of what they achieved," he said as he was mobbed by well-wishers and television crews.
     
    Officials said there was no apparent pollution in the waters around the ship as a result of the operation. “The parbuckling operation has been successfully completed. The wreck is now upright and resting safely on the specially-built artificial sea bed, at a depth of approximately 30 meters,†said a statement from the Italian-American engineering consortium that was in charge of the effort. Franco Porcellacchia, the project manager for the Concordia's owner, Costa Cruises, said the operation was faultless. "We completed the parbuckling operation a few minutes ago the way we thought it would happen and the way we hoped it would happen. A perfect operation, I must say".
     
    Richard Habib, the head of Titan Salvage, the US firm that spearheaded the project, celebrated with a bottle of Heineken outside a cafe in Giglio’s picturesque harbour. “It was perfection,†he told The Daily Telegraph. “It was a highly engineered job – it had to be because the stakes were so high. It happened just the way we planned it.†Experts had originally predicted that the operation would be completed in around 10 hours but in the end it took nearly twice as long as that. “The forces needed to pull the ship upright were greater than expected. It needed a bit more oomph than we had expected. The strand jacks (winches) had to go slower than we’d originally thought,†Mr Habib said.
     
    Experts will now embark on weeks of work to patch up the formerly submerged starboard side of the vessel and make sure the vessel is stable. They will have to attach huge, hollow steel boxes on the battered starboard side, which will enable the ship to eventually float free and be towed off to an Italian port to be dismantled. That is expected to happen in the spring or summer of next year. “We have challenges ahead but we consider the project 80 per cent complete. We have overcome the biggest difficulties,†Mr Habib said, dressed in khaki overalls and drinking his beer with other salvage workers. Salvage workers said they were planning to celebrate the completion of the project with a big party.
     
    Swigging from a bottle of beer outside Bar Fausto, a tiny cafe on the harbour-front, Steve, 34, a Belgian survey technician, said: “It feels really good. We always felt it would work, but it’s still a big relief.†Nieko, 24, a diver from Belgium, said: “It’s a weird feeling because for so long we saw the ship lying on its side and now it is upright. It’s a beautiful thing.†Denny Hoffschlag, 34, a diver from the Netherlands, said: “This is a once in a lifetime job. “There’s a lot of joy, seeing the ship finally upright. It gives me goose bumps. It’s an experience I’ll never forget. When we work in Holland the water is so murky you can barely see beyond your mask but here we had 30 metres visibility.â€
     
    The captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, is on trial for alleged manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship during a panic-stricken evacuation. He denies the charges and claims the reef that the ship hit was not on his nautical charts. The next hearing in the trial is on Sept 23

     

     

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/italy/10314172/Costa-Concordia-salvage-cheers-as-slime-covered-ship-is-righted.html

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    Posted
  • Location: North York Moors
  • Location: North York Moors

    Those pictures are astonishing.It's in slight bad taste considering people died on it but it reminds me of those ghost pirate films where the decaying ship is still miraculously on the surface.

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  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)
  • Location: Eastbourne, East Sussex (work in Mid Sussex)

    Those pictures are astonishing.

     

    From this:

     

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    To this:

     

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    So unnecessary and now to find out what really happened out there.

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