Concordia pulled upright, feat 'couldn't have gone better'
Parbuckling completed at 4am17 September, 10:31
The operation, which started at 9.00 on Monday after preparations were delayed by three hours by a storm, took longer than the 12 hours originally forecast.
But the pulling-off of an unprecedented feat was nevertheless a cause for satisfaction.
''It was a perfect operation, I'd say,'' said Franco Porcellacchia, the head of the technical team of the ship's owners, Costa Cruises. Titan Micoperi's Nick Sloane, the man in charge of the parbuckling, was given a star's welcome on the Tuscan island after the operation's successful completion. The ship had been lying semi-submerged off the Tuscan island of Giglio since January 2012 when 32 people died in one of the worse maritime disasters in Italian history.
The so-called parbuckling operation to right the wrecked liner, which weighs around 114,500 tonnes and was carrying around 4,000 people when it went down, involved lifting it off a rock shelf it had been lying on, and moving it to sit upright on an artificial underwater platform. There operation does not seem to have caused any mayor leaks of toxic substances. ''I don't think an environmental disaster is waiting to happen,'' said Maria Sargnetini, head of the operation's monitoring centre. The ship will eventually be towed away to be broken up for scrap, although this part of the massive salvage operation is not expected to happen until next year. Costa Cruises said last week that the cost of the salvage operation stood at 600 million euros, while stressing that the figure was rising.
The authorities said the top priority now it to find the bodies of the two victims of the disaster that have not yet been recovered.