by EDWARD PINTO Section Editor
After almost two years, the Costa Concordia is now vertical. The ship was finally salvaged and righted on Tuesday, September 17.
On January 13, 2012, the ship tipped over after getting too close to the coast of Tuscany Island in Gilgio, Italy and, as a result, 32 people died, with several of the bodies still missing.
The captain, Francesco Schettino, wanted to get as close as possible to the coast so all the passengers could take beautiful pictures of the landscape, but made a critical mistake, leading to the tip over.
The captain and five other people are being placed on trial for manslaughter and abandoning ship.
The process of this long and difficult task, called par-buckling, took 19 hours. Engineers and scientists predicted it would take about 10-12 hours, but more time was needed.
The ship itself is about the length of three football fields, which made it even harder to pick up. The weight of the ship is 114,000 tons of pure metal, steel, and other appliances. The operation was not easy, considering over 500 workmen were used to lift it up. Many experts predict the ship will be floated over to a wrecking yard by next Summer.
The cost of pulling the ship up and all other damages will be around $800 million, but may cost more before the operation is completed. Scientists, engineers, and other experts will be patching up the wreckage for the next few months to make sure it is stable enough to float over to the yard.
Sophomore Deep Sarkaria says, “I remember watching the news about the tragedy last year and just thinking to myself, what was the captain thinking?”
Tuscany’s economy is solely based on tourism and other attractions. Tourists in the last year have decreased due to the huge ship laying right on the border of the island. It also brought problems to the port because it was hard to get around the 951 foot long ship. Citizens of the island have been waiting for the ship to be righted since it first came down.
Once the ship is finally destroyed in the yard, it will bring more money to the island, and docking ships will be easier. The island has always been a popular place for foreigners and citizens of Italy to go and relax or spend a weekend by the beach.
The tragedy of this wreckage is now being studied by other captains and experts and, hopefully, they do not make the same mistake twice.