In this photo taken on Sept. 18, 2013 a small boat passes next to the damaged side of he Costa Concordia on the Tuscan Island of Giglio, Italy. Franco Gabrielli, who heads the Civil Protection Department overseeing the wreck's removal, told reporters on Giglio Island , July 13, 2014, that while weather conditions aren't optimal, they are good enough to permit the start of operations to refloat and tow the Concordia to Genoa on the mainland for scrapping. He also promised that a search will be conducted for the only unrecovered body of the 32 Costa Concordia shipwreck victims as soon as the wrecked cruise liner is towed away from the island where it struck a reef in 2012. (Andrew Medichini / AP)
Giglio, Italy — The shipwrecked Costa Concordia was successfully refloated Monday in preparation to be towed away for scrapping, 30 months after it struck a reef and capsized, killing 32 people.
Authorities expressed satisfaction that the operation to float the Concordia from an underwater platform had proceeded without a hitch. Technicians were preparing to shift it some 30 yards and then anchor the massive cruise ship before ending the day’s operations.
The entire operation to remove the Concordia from the reef and float it to Genova, where it will be scrapped, will cost a total of 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion), Costa Crociere SpA CEO Michael Tamm told reporters.
The heavily listing ship was dragged upright in a daring maneuver last September, and then crews fastened huge tanks to its flanks to float it. Towing is set to begin July 21. It’s about 200 nautical miles to Genova and the trip is expected to take five days.
“The operation (Monday) began well, but it will be completed only when we have finished the transport to Genova,” Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti told reporters.
Concordia’s Italian captain is being tried in Tuscany for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship before all were evacuated.