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Operation to refloat wrecked Italian ship Costa Concordia launched

Jul 15, 2014 18:30 IST

Operation to refloat the wrecked Italian ship Costa Concordia was launched on 14 July 2014. The refloating operation launched was one of the biggest maritime operations in the history.

The operation will tow the wreck of Concordia at a top speed of about two knots (about 2.3 miles per hour) to the port of Genoa, Italy for dismantling. The total cost of the operation will be 2 billion US dollars (1.5 billion euro).

The in-charge of the refloating operation to lift the Costa Concordia and tow it to Italy's mainland is South African Nick Sloane .

During the operation, the team will also search the vessel for Indian waiter Russel Rebello, the only victim of the tragedy who has not been found.

At this gigantic size, to tow the Concordia to the port of Genoa poses extreme risk of releasing toxic material into the sea if the vessel would fall apart.


The cruise liner Concordia capsized near Giglio Island in 2012 killing 32 peoples. The ship weighs about 114000 tonnes and is 290 meters long which is equivalent of nearly three football fields. It is two-and-a-half times as heavy as the Titanic.

Francesco Schettino, the ship's captain, was charged with manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning the vessel before the evacuation of all its passengers. If he is convicted he could face decades in jail.

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