Italy cruise ship wreck floats for first time
GIGLIO ISLAND, Italy – Italy's Costa Concordia cruise ship on Monday, July 14, began floating on its own for the first time since it crashed in January 2012, as an unprecedented salvage operation got underway to raise it.
The ship measuring 290 meters (951 feet) – the length of 3 football fields and twice as big as the Titanic – is slowly being refloated on the island of Giglio to be towed away for scrapping in Genoa.
"The ship is floating," Franco Porcellacchia, the chief engineer in charge of the operation, told reporters.
"It is now about one meter off the underwater platform it was lying on," he said, adding that it would be raised another meter before being shifted towards the open sea.
Salvage workers were pumping air into giant tanks fixed to its sides to expel water and act as floating devices. The full refloating is expected to take 6 to 7 days.
With 4,229 people from 70 countries on board, the luxury liner foundered after hitting a group of rocks just off the coast and keeled over in a tragedy that claimed 32 lives. – Rappler.com