‘Costa Concordia’ salvage complete

'Costa Concordia' is now safely moored in the Port of Genoa Voltri, ready for scrapping
'Costa Concordia' is now safely moored in the Port of Genoa Voltri, ready for scrapping
Fugro played its part in the salvage project with the installation of 26 foundation piles
Fugro played its part in the salvage project with the installation of 26 foundation piles

‘Costa Concordia’, the Concordia-class cruise ship that wrecked off the coast of Italy in 2012, has safely arrived at the Port of Genoa Voltri, marking completion of the largest maritime salvage job in history.

Crowley Maritime Corporation, subsidiary Titan Salvage and project partner, Micoperi, towed the disabled ship from the Tuscan Archipelago to the Mediterranean seaport of Genoa. The “delicate task” took a convoy of more than a dozen support vessels, including two tugboats with a combined 24,000 horsepower and 275 tonnes of bollard pull at the bow for the hull, and two additional auxiliary tugs positioned aft.

Titan Salvage’s senior salvage master, Nick Sloane, and Rich Habib, salvage director, were onboard the Costa Concordia to provide around-the-clock, hands-on monitoring of the vessel’s list, ballasting and speed.

“Our team’s goal was to accomplish the project with safety, ingenuity and detail,” said Chris Peterson, TITAN Salvage vice president. “We truly believe that we have done just that.”

Elsewhere, Netherlands-based Fugro described the project as one of the toughest in its 38-year history. Playing its part, the company installed 26 foundation piles for the huge undersea table that would prevent the vessel sliding to greater depths, and enable it to be salvaged intact.

To raise the vessel, air was pushed into 30 sponsons attached to the vessel, expelling the water inside and raising it two metres above the artificial platform which was put in place during the parbuckling phase last September.

“It's well documented that this is one of the hardest recovery operations in maritime history, so it's satisfying to see the end product. We're proud to lend our drilling experience to such an important, international effort, and hopefully to provide some closure to the families affected by this tragedy,” added Sam Whitaker, marine installation services manager, Fugro.

Now, Titan Salvage will continue working in Italy over the new few months demobilising equipment and personnel. As for the Costa itself, a Genoa consortium will soon begin dismantling the 114,000 tonnes vessel, stripped the ship for scrap metal and recyclable materials.

Other EU companies which helped with the project include Concordia Group, Van Es Holding group and Zwagerman Offshore Services.   

Costa Concordia sank back in January 2012 with 4,252 people on board after capsizing and then sinking in front of the harbour of the island of Giglio, Italy.

The ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, is on trial accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning ship, which he denies.

By Rachael Doyle

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