Costa Concordia grounded off the coast of Italy last January and work has been ongoing since then to clear the area of all things cruise ship related. Taking a cruise ship that has fallen over on its side and getting it back upright is apparently a gigantic job that has never before attempted. This week, Costa Cruises, along with its salvage company, launched a website with detailed information, plans and images relating to the Costa Concordia wreck-removal project.
Parbuckling is the technical term for the process of rotating the wreck into an upright position and is said to be one of the most complex and crucial phases of the removal plan. The Parbuckling Project website gives step by step illustrations that show just exactly how the salvage team hopes to make that happen.
The site’s main features include background information about the project and the companies involved, up-to-date news, multimedia assets including videos, 3-D animations and pictures, thematic insights and technical details.Just completing the initial phase, anchoring and stabilization of the wreck has been done to prevent any slipping or sinking.
The next phase of the removal plan prepares the false bottom on which the wreck will rest after rotation in two separate phases.
First grout bags will be positioned and filled with cement to create a stable base for the hull.
Next, platforms will be fixed in place and a crane will be used to install water-tight structures called caissons on one side of the wreck.
Then the parbuckling happens, lifting the ship up on one side. To balance the wreck, more caissons will be installed on the other side, refloating the ship which has been resting on the platform shown above.
Its a never-been-done feat of engineering that takes technology from a number of unrelated fields to make it happen. Costa promises that the Parbuckling Project website will be constantly updated to reflect the different phases of the plan as the work progresses.
Getting the ship out of the way can’t come soon enough for environmentalists who recently found and rescued giant mussels from under the wreck, as we see in this video.
[Photo/Image Credit: the Parbuckling Project]