Costa Concordia Operation Completed Successfully

At 4 a.m. local time Tuesday, the salvage companies announced the ship is upright and resting on platforms installed for that purpose.

Twenty months after the cruise ship Costa Concordia struck rocks off the coast of the Italian island Giglio and heeled over onto its starboard side, terrifying her passengers and causing a panicked evacuation in darkness, the ship is now upright after salvage firms Titan Salvage and Micoperi successfully pulled it from the rocks where it was stranded. They began turning the ship on Sept. 16.

The ship ran aground Jan. 13, 2012, with a 160-foot gash in the hull. The salvage companies received a large number of requests for media credentials from journalists who are reporting on the "parbuckling" operation, and they have posted fact sheets and information about the entire salvage process to date.

Their fact sheet said as it was uprighted, the ship "will have to be rotated very slowly and vigilantly, with constant monitoring of the process. The strand jacks will be used to pull the steel cables attached at one end to the nine central caissons and at the other to the underwater platforms on which the wreck will come to rest once it is vertical. This is a very delicate phase, during which the forces involved have to be offset carefully to rotate the wreck without deforming the hull. Upon conclusion of this phase, the wreck will be resting on the false bottom at a depth of about 30 meters."

Now that the movement has been accomplished, the overall condition of the ship will be surveyed, and afterward repairs will begin. Fifteen more caissons will then be attached to the starboard side of the wreck, symmetrically with those on the port side. When the 30 containers are emptied of water, they'll provide the buoyancy needed to allow the ship to be floated away from the island at last.

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