Concordia removal work begins

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Work has started on removing parts of the cruise ship Costa Concordia in preparation for the effort to refloat the vessel. The first steps are to cut off the mast and take away a water slide and the giant yellow funnel bearing the Costa logo.
With those projections out of the way, a floating work platform will be brought in, and piles eill be embedded in the seabed to keep the vessel upright for its eventual refloating.
Another step will be to extricate the rock that ripped a hole in the ship, in order to incorporate it into a memorial for the 32 people who died in the disaster. An 80-ton chunk was left embedded in the hull when the vessel came too close to the island of Giglio, off the Italian coast, on January 13.
 
Sergio Ortelli, the mayor of the island, says it will be removed during salvage operations to refloat the stricken ship to be towed away for breaking up.
 
Costa Cruises say that following the disaster, bookings taken during April and May have recovered and are now 28 per cent above the same months last year.
 
This is largely due to the significant discounts being offered to attract passengers throughout Europe.
 
Costa introduced a new ship, Fascinosa, last month. Retiring chief executive Pier Luigi Foschi has confirmed another vessel, carrying 4,298 passengers, will be built in Genoa and is expected to enter service in October 2014.
 
Concordia continues to hold a macabre fascination for cruise passengers. One travelling on the newly launched Carnival Breeze last week complained to the guest service desk when he was told the vessel would not – as he had hoped – be passing within sight of the wreck on his journey between Rome and Livorno.
 
Cruise director John Heald said: “I have not spoken to the guest and maybe I am doing him a disservice here because maybe, just maybe, he wanted to see the site because he wanted to pay his respects to those who lost their lives on that tragic night.
 
“Somehow I think he was probably just curious and part of what seems to be a fascination with tourism featuring accidents and other tragedies. But why would anyone want to see the spot where the Costa Concordia crashed is absolutely beyond me.”

By | 2017-06-15T15:59:48+00:00 18 June 2012|Cruise news|0 Comments

About the Author:

John Honeywell is a travel writer specialising in cruise ships and cruise travel. Winner of CLIA UK's Contribution to Cruise award 2017.

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