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Daylight Reveals Extent Of Concordia Damage

posted 17 Sep 2013, 05:58 by Mpelembe Admin   [ updated 17 Sep 2013, 05:58 ]

While Costa Concordia may look worse for wear, salvage master Nicholas Sloane says the damage the giant cruise liner has suffered had surprisingly little effect on the rotation operation.

GIGLIO, ITALY (SEPTEMBER 17, 2013) (REUTERS) - Daylight on Tuesday (September 17) highlighted the extent of the damage the wrecked Costa Concordia suffered after capsizing off the Tuscan island of Giglio and spending twenty months half-submerged in water.

In a 19-hour operation which ended at 4.00 a.m. (0200 GMT) on Tuesday, the 114,500-ton ship was pulled upright by a series of huge jacks and cables and left resting in 30 metres of water on underwater platforms drilled into the rocky sea bed.

As first light broke, the marks of its long period on the rocks were visible.

Brown mud stains scarred the hull which was gashed and dented after being crushed under its own weight.

Relaxing in Giglio port following the strenuous operation, salvage master Nicholas Sloane, however said the damage had had surprisingly little effect on the rotation effort.

"Now, what happened was that most of the damage had happened already so from when she first came to rest there and until now, the damage you see is actually from her way of just molding herself around those rocks so all the noise and the main structural damage, that happened in February-March last year. So, we expected it to be harder to tear her off but actually she came off quite nicely," he said.

The so-called "parbuckling" operation, in which the hulk was painstakingly rotated upright, took longer than the 10-12 hours estimated but engineers said it had gone exceptionally smoothly.

As part of a salvage project estimated to cost more than 600 million euros ($801.15 million), the vessel will remain in place for some months while it is stabilised and refloated before being towed away to be broken up for scrap.