Nation & World News

Costa Concordia Salvage Operation To Begin Monday

By Bill Chappell on September 15th, 2013

A complicated salvage operation is set to begin Monday at the site of the Costa Concordia, the luxury cruise ship that ran aground off Italy in 2012. Even if it succeeds, it will be a long time before things return to normal on the island of Giglio, where the ship wrecked last January.

A large team has gathered to try to move the wreck of the ship, which measures 952 feet in length and weighs more than 114,000 tons. NPR’s Sylvia Poggioli filed this report for our Newscast unit:

“The old nautical term for the operation is called parbuckling. Over a 10- to 12-hour period, the ship — now slumped on its side on a sloping reef — will be slowly rotated as dozens of pulleys will pull it upright.

“The big unknown is the condition of the side of the ship lying on the jagged reef, which juts into the hull by some 30 feet. But the engineers in charge are confident that the operation will be successful — so confident that there’s no Plan B.

“The option of breaking up the ship on site was discarded because the shipwreck lies in the Tuscan marine sanctuary, Europe’s biggest, a haven for whales, dolphins and the last surviving monk seals.”

Sylvia also reported on the undertaking for yesterday’s All Things Considered, when she said that the ship’s “carcass is like an alien from outer space that plopped down alongside the wooden dinghies moored in the small fishing port.”

That port has seen big changes since the Concordia crash that resulted in 32 deaths. While the hulking wreck has harmed the tourism business, hundreds of engineers, salvage divers, and other workers have converged on Giglio.

The salvage operation is being undertaken by an American company, Titan Salvage, and an Italian contractor, Micoperi. The operation has its own website — called The Parbuckling Project — which details the steps in attempting to stabilize and re-float the Concordia.

Writing for CNN about the effects on the island, here’s how Barbie Latza Nadeau describes the scene in Giglio:

“On any given night of the week, the portside bars are filled with men in gray Titan Salvage jumpsuits. An occasional salvage woman joins the mix, but the vast majority are men who come in to port to unwind. Some wear holsters with scissors hanging on them — a cowboy-esque equivalent of a pistol for deep sea oilrig divers. Others sling their red inflatable Titan-Micoperi life vests over their shoulders or dangle them on the barstools.”

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

This entry was posted in News from NPR. Bookmark the permalink.

Comments are closed.

 

More Stories in News from NPR

Media satellite trucks convene outside the Buzz Westfall Justice Center in Clayton, Mo., on Monday, where a grand jury has been considering whether to indict Darren Wilson, a white Ferguson police officer who shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown, who was black.

Grand Jury’s Decision In Michael Brown Case Will Be Announced Monday

A news conference is reportedly being scheduled for Monday evening, when St. Louis County officials will relay the jury’s decision.


Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu listens during a Cabinet meeting in Jerusalem on Sunday. His Cabinet approved a draft law that defines the country as "the nation-state of the Jewish people."

Israel’s Cabinet OKs Controversial Nationality Measure

The bill, which must be approved by Parliament, defines Israel as “the nation-state of the Jewish people.” It has angered not only Israel’s Arab citizens, but also members of the coalition government.


Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel Will Step Down, Once Successor Is Confirmed

The news comes as troops pull out of Afghanistan and begin a new offensive against the Islamic State. “Hagel was not seen as a very forceful secretary of defense,” NPR’s Tom Bowman says.


With Deadline Looming, Whispers Of Extension Begin In Iran Nuclear Talks

The two sides have been trying to hammer out a historic accord curbing Iran’s nuclear programs, but with less than 24 hours before a self-imposed deadline, there is still no news of a deal.


After complaints from residents, this tree in Reading, Pa., is being replaced.

Ugly Christmas Tree Will Be Replaced In Pennsylvania Town

Unlike Charlie Brown, the residents of Reading didn’t see beauty in a 50-foot spruce with few branches and an unseemly shape.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments