I see the Costa Concordia Parbuckling operation is proceeding and so far looks to be working.
A complex system of pulleys and counterweights successfully dislodged the capsized Costa Concordia from its rocky seabed perch on a Tuscan reef at Giglio Island.
An anxiously awaited operation of a kind that has never been attempted on such a huge vessel.
Engineers said they’d succeeded in detaching the 952 foot-long vessel from the reef on which it was resting and the operation was continuing.
The crippled vessel wouldn’t budge for some three hours after the operation to right it known in nautical parlance as “parbuckling” began at around 9:00 am local time. But after 6,000 tons of force were applied, we saw the detachment of the ship from the reef using undersea cameras.
Few of the locals will ever forget the night the Costa Concordia struck rocks. There was a mad rush to provide assistance to the thousands fleeing the ship. The harsh reality that 32 people lost their lives in the disaster still haunts many of them.
Rolling the ship off the seabed and onto huge underwater platforms was expected to take eight to ten hours.
Parbuckling is a proven method to raise capsized vessels, but the Concordia is thought to be the largest cruise ship to ever require it.
The Costa Concordia is around two-and-a-half times the size of the Titanic, and no one wants to see it split apart.
The operation has attracted crowds of tourists and media, waiting to see the ship lifted.
“From what I can see it’s moving bit by bit, it’s raised about a meter and half from the sea level,” said one of the tourists gathered on the harbor wall to watch it slowly rise out of the water.
The goal is to raise the ship 65 degrees to a vertical position, for eventual towing.