15 Spectacular Photos Of The Refloated Costa Concordia

The Costa Concordia prior to the refloating operation, July 13, 2014. Photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project
The Costa Concordia prior to the refloating operation, July 13, 2014. Photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project

The operation to refloat the Costa Concordia shipwreck from the shores of Giglio kicked off on the morning of July 14, 2014, two and a half years after the cruise liner shipwrecked along the small Italian island, killing 32 people. To remove the vessel from the island once and for all, engineers from the salvage consortium Titan-Micoperi slowly pumped air into 30 steel boxes known as sponsons that were secured to either sides of the wreck, providing for the flotation.

The refloating phase was completed when the Costa Concordia reached its required draft of about 18.5 meters sometime on July 22, 2014, nine days after the operation began. The Costa Concordia was then to be towed to the port Genoa where it will be demolished and the island will be returned to its original state as though nothing ever happened.

The departure of the Costa Concordia was scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, July 23, 2014, after the arrival of the first ferry from Porto Santo Stefano. The tow itself was led by the tug MV Blizzard along with the MV Resolve Earl. A convoy of an additional 12 vessels will also accompany the wreck during the tow.

Update: The Costa Concordia departed Giglio at 11:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 22, 2014 and arrived in Genoa four days later, completing the historic salvage operation.

Full Coverage: Costa Concordia Refloating and Tow

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Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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Photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project

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Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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Photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project

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Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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Photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project

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 A convoy of 14 vessels, led by the tugboat MV Blizzard, pictured above, will accompany the shipwreck during the journey to Genoa. Photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project

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Photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project

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The MV Resolve Earl will also be towing the wreck. Photo courtesy The Parbuckling Project

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The tugs Red Wolf and Garibaldo have held the Costa Concordia in place throughout the entire refloating operation. Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

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And she’s off. Photo courtesy Italian Civil Defense Department

RELATED: The Costa Concordia Parbuckling in HD Pictures