• Article: Der Spiegel on salvaging the Costa Concordia

    • 26 February 2013
    • Published by

    While on the subject of cruise ships, let’s turn to an article in Der Spiegel about the salvage operation that is to be undertaken on the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, currently aground (on her side) off the island of Giglio, Italy. The ship ran aground in January 2012; a year later, salvage teams under the leadership of a South African, nogal, began work on her.

    Briefly, the salvors plan to roll the ship upright, refloat her with air-filled containers, and tow her into harbour. There’s an illustrative graphic that acoompanies the article. It makes it seem a quick and simple process, but the salvage is expected to cost US$300-400 million and will take months. It’s the largest salvage operation ever attempted. The ship is not being dismantled in place because it is lying in the middle of a marine sanctuary with sensitive populations of cetaceans and other creatures. According to the Christian Science Monitor, to protect the whales and dolphins from the noise of the drilling associated with the salvage, the salvors create curtains of bubbles around the drill sites by blowing compressed air into the water. These curtains absorb much of the sound.

    If you want to remind yourself of how surreal the cruise ship looks, and looked in the time after she ran aground, there are photos here, here, here, and some terrifying ones taken inside the ship here.

    Read the full Der Spiegel article here.

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