Italy's Concordia Wreck Ready to Be Raised: Page 2


“This is a very delicate phase, during which the forces involved have to be offset carefully to rotate the wreck without deforming the hull,” Titan said.

It's estimated the ship will rotate at about 10 feet per hour.

Filled with water, the caissons will help pull the ship upright.

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"When the ship is upright, another 15 caissons will be fixed to the other side of the hull to stabilize it," the U.S. company said. “A pneumatic system will be used to empty the water gradually from the caissons on both sides of the wreck, giving the sufficient shove to push it upwards."

At the end of the emptying process, the Concordia will be upright, although a section of about 60 feet will remain submerged.

Sandwiched between the caissons, the ship will then be towed to an Italian port for dismantling in spring 2014.

“The rotation is the most risky and delicate phase of the operation," Gabrielli said. "However, we consider the possibility that the ship falls apart a remote event."

Nick Sloane, a South-African salvage master hired by the Titan Salvage and Micoperi to lead the removal operation confirmed that the Concordia will suffer an “extreme amount of force” of compression in the first part of the rotating maneuver.

“Once the ship moves upward some 25 degrees, gravity will take over,” Sloane said. At that point, we'll start feeling relief."

Gabrielli also admitted that furniture and other materials, which are now inside the ship, will be poured into the sea as the ship is rolled over. He also stressed that once the ship is floating again, it will be a priority to recover the two missing bodies that are most likely still trapped inside.

During the parbuckling operation, Giglio will be off limits: Authorities will let one last ferry sail from the island at dawn on Monday, while no other ferries or boats will be allowed until the historic effort is over.

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