Saturday, July 7, 2012

Cruise News: Costa Concordia Removal Plans Proceed

Costa Concordia Wreck Removal Update

In a bit of irony, as part of the salvage plan to remove the wreck of Costa Concordia, which will be carried out by the Italo-American Titan-Micoperi consortium appointed by Costa Crociere, Fincantieri—the builder of Costa Concordia—has been awarded a contract worth tens of millions of euros for the construction of the watertight boxes, known as caissons, to be used in the operation to refloat the ship.

A total of 30 steel caissons, with combined weight of approximately 11,500 tons, will be built in different Fincantieri shipyards. The Costa Concordia salvage plan entails the use of these caissons to right and refloat the wreck so that it can be removed in one piece.

Once the ship has been stabilized, caissons will be fixed to the upper side of the hull and gradually filled with water as part of the operation to right the ship; righting will be performed using a system of “strand jacks”-a hydraulic mechanism for pulling cables -fixed to an undersea platform. When the ship is upright, caissons full of water also will be fixed to the other side of the hull. Then the caissons on both sides will be emptied to refloat the wreck; once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port.

Meanwhile, on Giglio Island preliminary work to prepare the wreck for salvage is proceeding on schedule; this includes steel structural jobs needed to cut and remove some external parts of the ship (OVI SAT antenna, forward masthead light, water slide) and facilitate the next stage of the plan. The seabed also is being inspected regularly ahead of the site clean-up operation devised to conserve the marine environment, which will be the main focus once the wreck has been removed. The preliminary stage is expected to finish by the end of July; it will be followed by the ship stabilization phase.

On a related note, AFP reports:
The captain of a cruise ship that ran aground in January killing 32 people said a "divine hand" had guided him and saved lives the night of the disaster, as he was released from house arrest on Thursday.

As the ship was about to hit rocks off the Italian coast "a divine hand surely touched my head," Francesco Schettino said in a letter to his lawyers which was published by Italian media on Thursday.

"If I had continued on that path the ship's prow would have hit the rock. It would have been carnage," he said.

Schettino's comments came after Italian judges released him from house arrest but said he must not leave his home town while his trial continues.

All I can think of is that he sounds delusional.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If the ship had hit the rock head on at a speed reasonable for the conditions, it would have crushed the bow and brought the ship to a stop. The damage could have been islolated and flooding contained. The ship could have proceeded to the nearest port, albiet a bit nose down, under he own power.

As it was, a divine hand touching the Captain's head and questionable speed caused the rock to rip open the engineering spaces causing loss of power and flooding that eventually caused the ship to sink, fortunately on a shallow shelf.

Wonder how many otherwise charming cruise ship captains are guided by devine touches to the head rather than company policy, years of experience, common sense and the laws of the sea.