400 Toil to Raise Costa Concordia

Officials call recovery biggest ever attempted
By Mark Russell,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 11, 2013 12:45 PM CST

It's been almost exactly a year since 32 people died when the Costa Concordia rolled over off the west coast of Italy, and a 400-person team of salvagers is at last ready to undertake what is being called "the largest and most complex [marine] recovery ever attempted," reports the BBC. The multistage recovery will require that the 127,000-ton ship be rolled upright, then refloated, and finally towed to Sicily, where it will be dismantled.

Massive caissons attached to the side will be filled with water to help right the ship; then they'll be emptied of water and filled with air to give buoyancy to the derelict vessel. The recovery was supposed to be finished by spring of this year, but winter storms have delayed the process, and officials now say they are aiming for late summer. "This is a very delicate and unusual project," said the project director. "We have no reference here." (More Costa Concordia stories.)

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