Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Costa Concordia - First Look at Starboard Side out of the Water

The parbuckling operation to right Costa Concordia ended at 4am local time on Giglio Island (10pm Eastern time in the US, September 16, 2013), and the operation was lit only by artificial lights at that hour. But that was only a little more than a couple hours before daylight. Throughout the operation, Costa Crociere and their engineering partners in the project, had been providing a live four-camera video feed of the amazing work as it was proceeding. The feed continued for a couple hours after, into the daylight, giving the world their first look at Costa Concordia again sitting upright, although still with the lower decks submerged as its hull sits on a platform constructed to support it 30 meters under the surface of the sea.

The video feed was to end before most of readers in the US would be awake, so we captured a few screen shots of the video which give a first look at the starboard side of the ship which has been under the water for the last 20 months. This was the time it was also giving engineers their first look at the damage to the side of the ship on which its weight had been resting for almost two years. These are not high resolution images for publication; they just taken from the video feed as it came up to give our readers a first look at the damage.

This wide shot shows the entire 900-foot ship, and much of the structure looks remarkably undamaged. As the engineers noted in one of the press conferences yesterday, as it was raised, the ship experienced little bending or torsion during the parbuckling. This image can serve to help you orient yourself as you look at some of the details below. Note that many of the top deck features (including most of the funnel) were removed while the ship was on its side.

This image shows the forward part of the ship shot looking forward from just behind. Note the starboard bridge wing for orientation. If you remember the iconic images of the ship's bow and port bridge wing from when the ship was on its side, this image demonstrates how much of the ship is now underwater. Note the brown grime that covers most of the parts of the ship that were underwater.

This picture was taken looking toward the bow and almost directly into the navigational bridge. As you can see there is now only one deck visible below the bridge. Note the diagonal line of grime and rust that is running through the center of the ship. This was the waterline when the ship was resting on its side only hours before.

This is the stern of the ship, looking forward. Again it serves to demonstrate how little of the ship is now above the surface, and again, the grimy waterline, with this time the part that was underwater on the right of photo. Note that the top of most of the 7- and 11-story sponsons attached to the port side are below the water.

There appear to be two areas most damaged on the starboard side this is the more forward one not too far behind the image we have above of the forward staterooms and bridge wing. It appears this area and balconies were crushed when the ship came to rest on it and the uneven terrain. Note the relatively clean top deck that was out of the water and undamaged satellite domes.

This is the area most damaged that is more aft. Again, the crushed balconies can be seen where the weight of the ship apparently came to rest on them.

Photos courtesy of Costa Crociere, all rights reserved.