Costa Concordia Back At Sea for One Final Voyage

The Costa Concordia under tow off Genoa, Italy, May 11, 2015. Photo: Port of Genova
The Costa Concordia under tow off Genoa, Italy, May 11, 2015. Photo: Port of Genova

The Costa Concordia was back at sea for the final time on Monday under tow to a new dock at the Port of Genoa where the final phases of the dismantling project will take place.

The wreck was making about 1 knot under tow by the tugs Messico and Genua, headed for the Molo Ex Superbacino dock area at the Port of Genoa. The ship was being moved from its previous location at the breakwater at Prà Voltri, where it was moored since arriving in Genoa in July 2014 following the successful salvage. The new dock is located about 10 miles away from the ships previous location.

Beginning Monday afternoon, the tugs carefully maneuvered the Costa Concordia away from the breakwater and into the open, perfectly flat waters of the Ligurian Sea.

The navigation portion of the tow is expected to take about 11 hours to cover the 10-miles, and the entire transfer operation including exiting and entrance maneuvers, is expected to last about 24 hours.

The convoy is composed of the Costa Concordia, the two tugs, and at least 9 other vessels – including emergency response, skimming vessels, a crane bage, additional tugs, and Navy ships.

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The wreck of the Costa Concordia is being moved as part of the on-going project to completely dismantle the ship. Phase 1 of the dismantling involved the removal of over 5,700 tons of material from the ship – such as furniture and internal structures – while moored at the Prà Voltri, until the ship reached the required draft of 15:35 meters. Phase two kicked off today with the transfer to the Superbacino dock, and will be followed by the dismantling of structures from decks 14 to 2. Finally, Phase 3 involves preparing the wreck for its transfer to dry dock, located in the same harbor as Superbacino, where the ship will eventually be fully dismantled and recycled during Phase 4. The main objective of Phase 3 will be to create buoyancy which will allow for the removal of the 30 sponsons that were installed during the salvage of the wreck and currently keeping the Costa Concordia afloat.

The dismantling project is being carried out by the Ship Recycling Consortium, made up of the Italian company Saipem (51%) and San Giorgia del Porto (49%).

AIS data from MarineTraffic.com shows the convoy of vessels outside the harbor entrance at the Port of Genoa as of 1:50 a.m. local time.

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The track of the Costa Concordia transfer.

See also: Costa Concordia Archives