Thursday, July 24, 2014

Crowley Subsidiary Salvages Costa Concordia

By Mark Edward Nero

Crowley Maritime Corp. subsidiary Titan Salvage and partner Micoperi say that the Costa Concordia – the Concordia class cruise ship that wrecked along shores of Giglio Island, Italy, in January 2012 – has been refloated and has begun its final voyage to an assigned berth in Port of Genoa Voltri, Italy, about 200 miles away.

Crowley says the project is among the largest and one of the most technically complex maritime salvage jobs ever completed.

Moving at an average speed of two knots, the slow, precise tow of the disabled cruise ship is being made by a convoy comprised of at least 10 other vessels. There are two tugs, with a combined 24,000 horsepower and 275 tons of bollard pull, at the ship’s bow towing the hull. Another two auxiliary tugs are positioned aft. The other vessels in the convoy, including a pontoon with a 200-ton crane, are carrying personnel and equipment.

The convoy is anticipated to arrive in Genoa on Sat., July 26, about mid-day pending the condition of weather and vessel traffic.

Titan Salvage’s Nick Sloane and Rich Habib, the company’s senior salvage master and salvage director, respectively, are onboard the Costa Concordia to provide around-the-clock monitoring of the vessel’s list, ballasting and speed. The sailing route will take the vessels south between the island of Giglio and Giannutri before heading west-southwest to a point south of the island of Montecristo. The convoy is then expected to head west-northwest to a position south of the island called Scoglio d’Africa before crossing the Ligurian Sea to the Port of Genoa Voltri. “This is the latest achievement in a very long series of detailed wreck removal phases,” Titan Vice President Chris Peterson said. “We have patiently and eagerly planned for this move.”

Once the tow arrives in Genoa, it will be berthed, thus successfully ending the historic salvage project. The salvage team will assist with the transfer of the vessel to the Genoa consortium that will perform the dismantling.