The infamous Costa Concordia is floating again for the first time in two and a half years. The 114,500-tonne vessel will be raised by another metre before being dragged out to sea and brought to a port in Genoa. There it will be broken up and sold for scrap.
Thirty two people died when the ship sunk off the Italian island of Giglio. Last September, it was hauled into an upright position after a massive 19 hour operation.
It is one of the biggest salvage operations of all time. Currently, compressed air is being blasted into 30 huge tanks, attached to the vessel’s sides. This is forcing out the seawater and refloating the ship.
“The ship is floating,” Franco Porcellacchia, chief engineer,stated to the crowd of media on the island.
“It is now about one metre off the underwater platform it was lying on.”
Meanwhile, the ship’s Captain Francesso Schettino is on trial for manslaughter. The media have dubbed the infamous captain as ‘Captain Coward’ after he fled the ship despite orders from the coastguard to return and help the rescue operation.
The captain’s defence is that it was “too dark to see anything” and that he accidently “tripped and fell into a lifeboat.”