Heavylift / Breakbulk
Raising up the Costa Concordia
The capsizing of the cruise ship «Costa Concordia» off the coast of Italy in January 2012 continues to cast a sad shadow over the region today. At the end of last year, the company SAL Offshore was involved in the efforts to salvage the wreck.
Two years ago this January the Italian cruise ship Costa Concordia sank just off the Mediterranean island of Giglio (northern Italy). Salvaging the vessel has been a slow and wearisome business, however. Last year SAL Offshore, a subsidiary of the shipping company SAL Heavy Lift, which in turn belongs to the Japanese firm K Line, was awarded a contract to install a system for the dynamic positioning of the ship, in order to assist with removing the wreck.
Safely supporting the wreck
The main task for SAL Offshore’s vessels deployed for the task, the Svenja and the Lone, was to install subsea platforms and special floatation sponsons as well as a blister tank, in order to keep the cruise ship afloat. The platforms were set up at a depth of 45 m, providing a safe support structure for the wreck after it had been raised upright. With a weight of 1,000 t, the platform number 1 was the heaviest of all the subsea structures.
With its measurements of 40 x 33 x 22 m it was the largest and heaviest subsea structure ever to have been installed by a heavylift vessel. Nevertheless, SAL Offshore was able to complete this record-breaking operation in the required time limit.
In addition, eleven portside floatation sponsons were positioned and attached to the wreck. They were deployed to lift the Costa Concordia into an upright position, and will also support the removal of the ship.
SAL took part in another phase of the salvage operation as well. A ship from the company’s fleet lifted the blister tank, which weighed 1,500 t, from a barge and stabilised it before handing it over to the installation crane.