Twenty months after the Costa Concordia crashed into the rocks and capsized off the coast of Giglio in a maritime disaster that killed 32 people and terrorized thousands others, the cruise ship emerged from the Mediterranean this morning following a spectacular "parbuckling" salvage effort costing over $800 million.
With many millions watching via live streaming video, the stricken cruise ship was slowly pulled upright in the dark morning hours today.
As the sun rose over Giglio, you could see that the vessel was upright. It now needs to be re-floated and secured for its final voyage next year when it will be towed away to be cut into scrap metal.
"The rotation has finished its course, we are at zero degrees, the ship is resting on the platforms," said Italy's civil protection chief, Franco Gabrielli, at a 4 a.m. news conference on Giglio island, where he was applauded and cheered by residents.
There is no word yet whether the bodies of cruise passenger, Maria Trecarichi, and Costa crew member, Russel Rebello, have been located in the ship.
Photo Credit: Giglio News