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Wrecked Costa Concordia Reaches its Final Destination

The wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship was towed to its last port recently, two and a half years after it ran aground and sank, killing 32 people. It took four days to maneuver the 114,500 ton ship from the Tuscan island of Giglio where it ultimately sank. The long journey marks the end of one of the greatest cruise ship disasters of all time and the most complex maritime salvage ever attempted.

The Costa Concordia which now sits in a scrap warehouse was once a beauty of the seas. The first of the Concordia class cruise ships, Costa Concordia was one of the largest ships built in Italy. It offered 13 decks, approximately 1,500 cabins, 505 private balconies, and several spa staterooms. Guests could enjoy the fitness center, gym, thalassotherapy pool, sauna, Turkish bath, and solarium, along with four swimming pools, five Jacuzzis, five spas, two retractable roofs, and a poolside movie theater.

This gigantic cruise ship that was thought to be unsinkable did just that in January of 2012. The Costa Concordia set off with 4,252 people for a cruise around the Mediterranean Sea. It was intended to be a seven day cruise. However, on January 13, the Costa Concordia deviated from its planned route and came closer to the Isola del Giglio. There, it came into contact with an object on the bottom of the ocean. The impact could be heard by passengers on board and create a temporary power blackout as water flooded the engine room.

Captain Francesco Schettino ordered an evacuation one hour after the ship had already begun to drift and list to the side. Some panicked passengers had already leapt into the water to swim to shore. No lifeboat passenger evacuation drill had taken place for the 600 passengers that had recently boarded.

A six hour evacuation effort took place, with most passengers being brought to shore. The search for missing persons took months, and eventually 32 were confirmed deceased. Captain Schettino was arrested and charged for his actions during the disaster. It is believed his actions caused the crash and his delay in calling for an evacuation lead to those 32 deaths and many injuries.

The Costa Concordia cruise ship is one of the largest ships ever to be abandoned. For the past two and a half years, workers have researched and developed possible ways to move the partially sunken monstrous ship. Through many efforts in righting the ship, securing its hull, refloating the hulls and tanks, and developing a towing system, the Costa Concordia has finally limped into its last port of call.

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