Salvaging the Costa Concordia
The Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia capsized and sank after striking an underwater obstruction off Isola del Giglio, Tuscany, on 13 January 2012, with the loss of 32 lives. The ship, carrying 4,252 people, double the number carried by Titanic, drifted and started to list and eventually toppled over and grounded lying on her starboard side. The captain, Francesco Schettino, ordered evacuation after an hour of drifting, during which the ship had started to list. The harbour authorities were alerted by worried passengers. During a six-hour evacuation, most passengers were brought ashore. The search for missing people continued for several months, with all but two being accounted for.
The Afon Cefni, skippered by Liverpool man Gerard Patten, and currently helping reinforce the sea defences at Jury’s Gap, was part of the salvage effort that worked for two years to re-float the giant liner. He told a “Rye’s Own” reporter “His tug was used throughout the operation and that at one time he had to take the Cefni between dangerous rocks to get to her station as the Concordia was slowly righted and supported by floating casements that held her in an upright position. The ship was ready on 17 September 2013 and the Afon Cefni helped tow her into the port a two day journey. Costa Concordia was a Concordia-class cruise ship built in 2004 by the Fincantieri’s Sestri Ponente yards in Italy and operated from 2005 until 2012 by Costa Cruises until it was wrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio. It was declared a total loss and later towed to the port of Genoa where it will be scrapped. Costa Concordia, operated by Costa Cruises, is one of the largest ships ever to be abandoned.
From October 2014 issue of Rye’s Own
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