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Raising the Costa Concordia Shipwreck: How Do They Do It? [Graphic]

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Today, September 16, the massive Costa Concordia cruise liner that crashed onto the Italian island of Giglio is finally being pulled off the jagged rocks that snared it. The operation is extremely tense. If any little thing goes wrong, the ship will sink or crumble, destroying the pristine waters there. Engineers have been preparing the ship for 18 months, in the largest marine salvage operation ever attempted. The graphic below explains how they are righting the ship, and how things could go awry (click on it to expand). A written account can be found here, and a live update from Giglio here. Illustration by Don Foley.


Mark Fischetti About the Author: Mark Fischetti is a senior editor at Scientific American who covers energy, environment and sustainability issues. Follow on Twitter @markfischetti.

The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily those of Scientific American.

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  1. 1. David_Bressan 3:54 pm 09/16/2013

    At the moment operation was a bit delayed – it seems that tomorrow morning the ship could be standing upright again (instead of today evening)

    Meanwhile a timelapse video of the slow tilting was relased by the Italian National News Agency

    Link to this
  2. 2. jcvillar 7:52 pm 09/17/2013

    How would a breakup undergoing “rust & rot” contaminate the fragile ecosystem? I thought it was common to sink vessels as artificial reefs. By the way, is there ever an ecosystem that is not described as “fragile?” Gets to be cliche after a while (a long, long while) doesn’t it?

    Link to this

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