Monday, September 16, 2013

Ongoing coverage of parbuckling of Costa Concordia - Monday, September 16

September 16, 2013 - Updates
Final update 10pm EDT

3:30am EDT
After about a three-hour delay, the parbuckling operation began Monday morning. A storm overnight delayed the positioning of a barge on which the control room for the operation is located. Weather today, however, is considered near perfect.

It will be several hours after the operation begins before any movement of the ship will become noticeable to the naked eye.

During the operation, it is possible that the bodies of the two missing victims will be found.

8am EDT -
Engineers said the rotation was about 3 degrees. The ship has been resting at a 65-degree list.

10am EDT -
The ship has been lifted off the seabed, although it is not standing upright. Costa Concordia is now resting on the undersea platform constructed to hold it during this and the next phase of the operation. In the video from the site, the rusty waterline created by parts of the ship being under water for 20 months, is now clearly visible indicating definite movement.

10:30am EDT
Engineers said in a press conference that they are approximately halfway through the operation, and it should take another four to six hours. Everything is proceeding very well, and there has been no spillage from the ship.

11am EDT
At the press conference, engineers said that during the early phases of Monday's parbuckling, the ship was being pulled upright, but they had reached the point where the sponsons, the giant tanks affixed to the port side of the ship, could begin to be slowly filled with water, and the weight of the water would begin to do the work of rotating the ship.

11:35am EDT
The rusty waterline, indicating the parts of the ships that have been under water, is clearly and steadily growing and is now several feet long. When looking at the top of the ship, it appears to be quite a few feet out of the water, perhaps several meters. Engineers onsite confirm the ship has reached 10 degrees rotation.

12:45pm EDT
It now appears both side of the top deck are now out of the water. It should be remembered that once the ship is righted and sitting on the platform, portions of the ship on the port side which have been dry since the rest of the ship sank, will be underwater, and only the top portion of the ship will be out of the water until the next phase of the phase of the operation which refloats it.

1:05pm EDT
The process is taking longer than estimated due to some difficulties with a few cables and chains being tangled. Engineers are not considering it a problem; it simply slowed the operation a bit. The parbuckling will now continuing into the night, and the ship will be lit as it usually is, and the engineer say that will be sufficient lighting for the parbuckling to continue without a problem.

Project managers stressed that while there have been some minor problems, overall everything has gone amazingly well, and the project is essentially going according to plan.

4:10pm EDT
The rotation continues, and the now as a gauge of the progress, the starboard bridge wing is coming out of the water.

7pm EDT
The ship has now rotated 25 degrees, and it can now rotate on its own under the weight of the water in the sponsons, so they can quit pulling it.

8pm EDT
Onsite engineers now confirm the ship has rotated 35 degrees.

10pm EDT
Costa Concordia is once again upright and resting on the platform 30 meters below sea level. The project managers say the parbuckling is complete.

Costa Concordia at 10pm EDT