Costa Concordia: Finally Upright, What's Next?

Lots of people thought that once the Costa Concordia was finally brought back from the dead and uprighted in Giglio, the cruise ship would be hauled off into the Italian sunset and taken to a scrapyard for dismantling.

That's not going to happen anytime soon. As much as we all hope and dream that this cursed cruise ship would simply vanish from our collective sight, unfortunately life is not as simple as this.

Here's what lies ahead:

More Salvage Work: The cruise ship will be secured so that it does not sink or topple over due to the rough weather of the upcoming winter.  As you can see from the photo to the right. the hull of the Costa Concordia Salvage ParbucklingConcordia is warped and mangled and needs to be stabilized and reinforced. Remember, the plan is to tow the cruise ship away. Given the cruise ship's screwed-up condition, that's not going to happen anytime soon. The consensus seems to be that work on the ship will continue until next spring. Yes, the salvage costs will exceed the $800,000,000 or so spent so far. Expect the final salvage tally to be over $1,000,000,000 ($1 billion).

Police Will Investigate the Crime Scene: There are two bodies of the dead which remain in the ship. There can be no closure until the bodies of cruise passenger, Maria Trecarichi, and Costa crew member, Russel Rebello, have been located in the ship. Engineers are popping champagne corks in the local bars in Giglio and drinking whiskey and beer after the technological & engineering success of righting the cruise beast. I say abate the party until the dead are recovered and the families are notified.   

Personal Effects Will Be Gathered: There are reportedly some 1,500 cabin safes which need to be accessed. Jewelry and any salvageable personal effects need to be returned to the owners.   

The Ship Needs to be Floated Way: At this point, the salvors will leave the cruise ship on the multiple underwater platforms. The ship will not be floated until later next year when weather permits. You will see the Concordia at the port in Giglio for at least another 6 of 7 months. Yes, expect another highly reported over-the-top media event when the ship is finally hauled away next year.

Criminal Trial: The criminal trial against Captain Schettino will start again soon.  The fun of raising the ship is over. Now the dirty work of placing the noose around the neck of the already convicted-in-the-media Captain Coward to hold him responsible for the deaths and suffering must go forward.        

The Cruise Lines PR War Will Continue:  The cruise industry will continue to say that his was a "freak accident" whereas the students of history and safety advocates will say that more accidents, deaths and mayhem will continue given the priorities of the cruise lines. Choose your side.   

Contentious Litigation: A representative of Costa states that the cruise line intends to leave the environment around Giglio in a "pristine" condition similar to that what existed before the dreadful shipwreck. If that means that the salvage costs and environmental costs exceed one billion dollars and the applicable insurance proceeds are exhausted and corporate money is spent, so be it claims Costa before the cameras and reporters. Protecting the environment and restoring it to its original condition is paramount according to the cruise line's PR team.

Unfortunately, the cruise line has exactly the opposite attitude toward the passengers and crew members it traumatized. Costa offered $14,600, take it or leave it, to its guests (not crew) for all of their belongings, clothes, electronics, and personal effects, and their pain and suffering and mental anguish, due to the horrifying events surrounding the Concordia's capsizing. Do you think that restoring the passengers and crew to their original, pre-shipwreck, "pristine" condition is a goal of Costa?  Hardly.

Over a billion $ for the cruise ship salvage but pennies for the dead and suffering. Costa / Carnival and their Miami attorneys are primed and ready to continue the dog fight against the victims.

It won't be pretty when the cameras are off and the reporters covering the exciting salvage efforts have gone home.                        

 

Photo Credit: Claudio Giovannini

Costa Concordia: The $800,000,000 Tilt

Its been an interesting two days watching the live streaming video of the "parbuckling" project which raised the stricken Costa Concordia out of the sea. The submerged, starboard side of the cruise ship, which has been underwater and resting on the seabed, is now strangely warped and disfigured.

It took some 19 hours to right the cruise ship. Much of the activity took place late at night.  Some say that it was like watching paint dry, although I found it interesting.

It's a rather amazing thought that although Costa (Carnival) offered less than $15,000 per passenger in compensation for the harrowing near-death experience of escaping from a sinking ship and leaving all of your possessions begind, the cruise line and its underwriters committed over $800,000,000 (and counting) to tilt the vessel upright.     

For those of you who didn't have the time or inclination to watch the raising of a ship over three football fields long and over 114,000 gross tons, below is a time-lapse video of the event. You can watch the Concordia being raised from the water in 30 seconds.

  

Costa Concordia Emerges from the Sea

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

Giglio costa Concordia Upright

Costa Concordia Salvage Begins Now

Costa Concordia Parbuckling GiglioIts been over 20 months since the Costa Concordia sailed into the rocks near the little port of Giglio. Thousands of passengers and crew panicked. 32 souls perished. 2 bodies of the dead remain in the sea.

Here is my first blog about the disaster. Little did I know just how bad the situation really was that night.

Its been over 20 months since the eyesore of the capsized Concordia lay on her side at the port like a beached whale. 

Its been a crime scene ever since. Captain Schettino is standing trial for manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship. The Costa organization and parent Carnival Corporation largely escaped liability, with all of the blame carefully heaped on the unpopular "Captain Coward."

I wonder where Captain Schettino is this morning?  What is he thinking?  

What are the families of the dead and missing feeling at these early morning hours?

I bet Carnival cruise tycoon, Micky Arison, is sleeping like a baby, without a care in the world. 

It looks like a beautiful morning in Giglio.

It's time to right the cursed ship and prepare to take her from her watery grave.

The "parbuckling" salvage efforts finally begins. 

 Giglio Costa Concordia

You can watch the Giglio News web cam here.

You can watch the Reuters live streaming web cam here.

Image Credit: Giglio News

One More Day Before the Costa Concordia Rises from the Sea

Monday morning the much talked about "parbuckling" project will finally start to try and raise the stricken Costa Concordia cruise ship from the port of Giglio.

I have clicked on the web cams at the port of Giglio hundreds of times since January of 2012 to see what has been happening with the Concordia at the little port.

There are high hopes that this extravagant and expensive project will finally rid Giglio of this Costa eyesore.  While there will be great excitement surrounding the event, the cruise ship  is still considered a crime scene. Thirty-two people died in the accident. Captain Schettino remains on trial for manslaughter, causing the wreck and abandoning ship. 

There are still two Concordia victims whose bodies have not been recovered and may be trapped on the ship somewhere.      

The removal of the shipwreck will in many ways be the removal of a watery graveyard.  It should be a serious and somber event. 

Costa Concordia Giglio Italy

Image Credit: Giglio News

Sixty Minutes Takes a Look at Costa Concordia

Tonight the Sixty Minutes television program airs a special on the Costa Concordia disaster. The program will discuss how the cruise ship capsized and will also examine the steps now being taken to salvage the ship. The plan is to right the cruise ship so that it can be floated out of the little port of Giglio and taken to a ship yard to be cut up for scrap. You can read more about the salvage project in our article: Removal of the Costa Concordia: What's The Parbuckling Project?  

The Sixty Minute preview is below:

 

Removal of the Costa Concordia: What's The Parbuckling Project?

The cover photograph on my facebook page is a Reuters photo of the capsized Costa Concordia.  A number of people have said that they were tired of the photo and asked me when I plan to change the photo?    

I'll admit that I'm tired of seeing the Concordia lying on its side at the port of Giglio. But probably not as tired as the people in Giglio who have to see this stricken cruise ship every morning when they wake up and look out their windows.

I said that I'll change the photo when Costa finally tows the sunken monster out of Giglio port and takes it to a scrap yard.  

Some people didn't realize that the cruise ship has not moved since the fateful night of January 13th. Others asked how Costa planned to remove the ship.

Which brings us to the "Parbuckling Project," a/k/a the Concordia wreck removal project. 

Costa plans to float the cruise ship into a vertical position and then float the ship and tow it away. "Parbuckling" is the technical term for the process of rotation of the wreck to a vertical position.  Not as simple as it sounds, but that's the plan. 

In partnership with Titan / Micoperi, Costa has created a website which explains and illustrates the removal plans. You can see some interesting diagrams and photos which will be updated as the project progresses. 

 

Credit: Noticias de Cruceros