Costa Concordia upright once again

After sitting on an angle for over a year, the shipwrecked Costa Concordia underwent one of the most daring and expensive salvage operations in memory.

Experts say that a salvage attempt such as this has never been attempted so close to land before.

The operation began early last Monday which was delayed when the remote operating barge being used in the salvage was put off course by a major storm, said the Italian Civil Protection Authority in an interview with the BBC.

From the barge, engineers were able to work using pulleys and counterweights to move the Costa Concordia.

Engineers finally succeeded in pulling the Costa Concordia completely through a grueling, 19-hour operation. The operation will now allow a new search to be conducted looking for the two bodies that were never recovered from the wreckage over a year ago.

“They consider it a major success,” said CBC reporter Sasa Petricic, from Giglio Island in Italy. “It was complicated, it was expensive… but they did manage to pull this ship into an upright position, despite the fact it is so heavy, despite the fact that it had been there for 20 months, and despite the fact that it had been basically wrenched into the rocky bottom of the Mediterranean.”

The capsized side of the Costa Concordia was put through significant stress from the weight of the ship and the operation itself.

The damage obtained must be repaired before the can be towed away to be turned into scrap metal, the estimated time is somewhere in 2014.

The Incident

The Italian, luxury cruise ship, Costa Concordia, ran aground on the island of Giglio near Tuscany on January 13, 2012.

The ship was on its first leg of a tour around the Mediterranean Sea, leaving from Civitavecchia, Lazio, when it was grounded.

The crash occurred right after the ship’s captain, Francesco Schettino left the computer programmed route – reportedly saying he knew the area well.

The ship partially capsized once hitting a local reef bed, killing 32 passengers and crew members.

Five people have been convicted of manslaughter in connection with the wreck.

Schettino is currently on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship.

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