Salvage Crews Commence Winter Prep of Costa Concordia Shipwreck

Mike Schuler
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October 8, 2013

The capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia is seen at the end of the “parbuckling” operation outside Giglio harbour September 17, 2013. REUTERS/Tony Gentile

Salvors in Isola del Giglio have begun securing the Costa Concordia shipwreck for winter as the threat of continued adverse weather looms.

A statement released Monday by the Parbuckling Project website says the wreck site has seen an uptick in adverse weather conditions over the last week, which actually has caused “minor movements” of shipwreck itself. The movements, however, have been dismissed by engineers as a “physiological settlement” of the wreck on the artificial seabed.

Nonetheless, engineers have confirmed the need to move forward with so-called winterization measures aimed at further securing the ship in preparation for continued and worsening adverse weather conditions typical of the winter season.

SEE ALSO: Costa Concordia Parbuckling in HD Pictures

On Monday, Commissioner for the Concordia emergency Franco Gabrielli and Chairman of the Observatory Maria Sargentini, in the presence of the Mayor Sergio Ortelli and representatives from Costa and Titan Micoperi, met with Giglio residents to update them on the planned and ongoing activities at the wreck site.

The primary focus of the meeting was the winterization process itself, which was broken into three parts.

The first part of winterization will include the positioning of an additional hold-back system to avoid movements of the bow, similar to how the shipwreck was first secured to the seabed following its initial grounding. Crews meanwhile began Monday to install additional removable grout bags in the area between the wreck and the rocks on the land side. Finally, crews will also position “tubular structures” that will connect the underwater platforms to the wreck itself by way of the top of the sponsons on the sea side.

In the meantime, structural surveys on the formerly submerged starboard side are in progress to define the repair operations necessary to position the 15 sponsons needed for the refloating phase.

Not mentioned in the statement was any sort of timeline for when the additional sponsons would be attached or when the wreck will be refloated.

In other Costa Concordia news, Italian officials on Tuesday said divers searching the wreckage of the cruise ship found remains of a body thought to be one of the two missing victims.

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