The Costa Concordia cruise ship, which was once one of the largest vessels in the world, had a very tragic ending. In January 2012, it ran aground off the coast of Italy near the island of Giglio and resulted in the deaths of 32 people. The disaster was one of the deadliest cruise-ship accidents ever recorded.
The Costa Concordia was owned by Costa Cruises, a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation & plc, and was built in 2004. It measured 951 feet (290 meters) long and weighed 114,500 tons. The ship had four swimming pools, 13 restaurants, 11 bars and lounges and it could accommodate up to 4,200 passengers and 1,000 crew members.
In January 2012, the ship departed from Civitavecchia (near Rome) on its way to Savona in Italy with more than 4,000 people onboard. But it never made it to its final destination. Instead, it ran aground off the coast of Giglio when its captain Francesco Schettino steered too close to shore as part of a “sail-by” salute to passengers’ relatives on the island.
The impact caused a large gash in the side of the vessel that led to a power outage and flooding that eventually caused it to capsize on its side. The emergency services were quickly activated but some passengers were unable to evacuate in time due to lack of organization or information on what was happening onboard. In total 32 people died as a result of this tragedy including two French nationals who are still unaccounted for today.
In order to free up Giglio’s harbor and make way for other vessels coming into port, plans were made for an extensive salvage operation that would involve righting and removing the stricken vessel from its resting place off Giglio’s coast.
The salvage operation began in September 2013 after several months spent preparing for it as well as making modifications to ensure that safety standards were met during this complex operation. The salvage team successfully raised the ship by using large steel tanks attached underneath which allowed them to slowly rotate it upright.
Where is the Ship Now?
Once uprighted, preparations began for the next phase which involved refloating and refitting the ship so that it could be towed away from Giglio’s coastline.
The Costa Concordia has been towed from its resting place off Giglio’s coast and is now located at Genoa’s Voltri Port where dismantling operations are taking place before being scrapped at La Spezia’s Vittoria Yard.
Conclusion: The Costa Concordia cruise ship had a tragic end after running aground near Italy’s Giglio Island in 2012 resulting in 32 deaths onboard. After an extensive salvage operation involving righting and removing the stricken vessel from its resting place off Giglio’s coast, preparations began for refloating and refitting before being towed away from Giglio’s coastline towards Genoa’s Voltri Port where dismantling operations are taking place before being scrapped at La Spezia’s Vittoria Yard – making this one of most expensive salvages operations ever undertaken at over $2 billion USD.