Published on Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Costa Concordia salvage operation hailed a success

Engineers have succeeded in setting the Costa Concordia cruise ship upright 20 months after it capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio, killing 32 people.

In the operation that was completed in the early hours of this morning, they used cables and metal boxes filled with water to roll the ship onto a platform in the first ever salvage operation of its kinds.

You can watch time-lapse footage of the ship being righted here, courtesy of the BBC.

There are now hopes that undiscovered bodies of two of the victims, an Italian woman and an Indian waiter, will be located onboard.

Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy's Civil Protection Authority, said the vessel was now sitting on a platform built on the sea bed.

Tony Livingstone, a British diver who has been working on the salvage operation for months, told The Telegraph that when the ship keeled over on the night of Janurart 13, 2012 it became wedged on two underwater outcrops of granite - had they not been there it could have sunk completely.

"Without those two bits of rock it would have gone down and there could have been 4,200 people dead," he told the paper.

The ship will remain off the island of Giglio at least until next spring before being towed to an Italian shipyard where it will be broken up for scrap.

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