Work to upright the crippled Costa Concordia cruise ship has started five months after it capsized off the coast of Italy killing 32, a Costa Cruises spokesperson said Thursday.
In an e-mail statement Costa's Head of Corporate Communications Cristiano De Musso gave this timeline of the project:
Site inspections of the Concordia through July 31; securing and stabilizing of the ship by Aug. 31; installation of caissons (watertight chambers) on left side of ship and construction of submarine platforms done by Nov. 15; rotation of the wreck to start with installation of boxes on the ship's right side on Dec. 1; ship to be up-righted by Jan. 15 and delivered to an Italian port by Jan. 31; cleaning and replanting of marine flora to be completed at site by April 30.
Titan Salvage of Pompano Beach and its Italian partner Micoperi were awarded the contract in April to upright and remove the beached 114,500-ton ship.
The year-long, four-stage project will involve the construction of a platform below sea level and attaching caissons to the ship's side that's above water, Titan-Micoperi officials said last month.
Two cranes attached to the platform will pull the ship upright, aided by the water-filled chambers. Once on the platform, more caissons will be attached to the other side of the ship's hull.
Then the caissons on each side of the ship will be drained and filled with air.
The Concordia overturned off the Tuscan island of Giglio on Jan. 13 with more than 4,000 passengers and crew aboard after its captain Francesco Schettino allegedly deviated from its course.
The ship will be salvaged in one piece to minimize environmental damage to Giglio's coast, and the sea bottom cleaned and marine flora replanted after it's removed.