Skip to main content

VIDEO: Salvage of the century

A salvage team tasked with removing the Costa Concordia, which ran aground off Giglio, Italy, is preparing to rotate the ship into an upright position using a technique known as parbuckling.

Parbuckling involves using a purchase to pull the ship onto an underwater platform, then refloating it using sponsons. It has never been attempted on a vessel the size of the 952-foot Costa Concordia. The ship will be towed to a nearby port for dismantling.

The Reuters news service produced this compelling report on the status of the salvage operation.

The salvor, Titan-Micoperi, says the operation is 77 percent complete, according to The Parbuckling Project, which is documenting the operation. There are 28 vessels on site and an estimated 474 workers.

After months of debating the risks, the Italian government decided that delaying the parbuckling until the spring might compromise the operation, according to a statement.

The manslaughter trial of the Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, resumes Sept. 23. The accident that sank the liner led to the loss of 32 lives in January 2012.