The generator rooms were flooded, there was a blackout that everyone noticed, i.e. no main electricity/light but the ship was otherwise floating, stable and safe with emergency light provided. Nobody died!
It was decided to abandon ship as per agreed company emergency procedures. A port was close by. The captain and some crew should stay behind to assist to tow the ship for repairs. But all lifeboats were not made ready by the crew! The responsible seamen were on vaccation at home! Very few liferafts were used. The available seamen didn't know how to launch them. Even worse! During the evacuation staff aboard opened (!) at least eight, illegal watertight doors #7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 24 and 25 in the hull. They should have been kept closed or not have been there at all. Water spread, stability was lost, the ship capsized and sank Saturday 14 January 2012 and some people still aboard drowned. It would appear that the angle of heel was about 45° at 00.28 hrs (the ship was still floating), when the Master had reached the shore nearby and could witness the sinking from there. Schettino thus saved himself in the last moment. It was a total mess. The ship was not seaworthy!
The ship owner however, assisted by media, created a scape goat! The Master! It was all his fault! I describe it in the Introduction of this long report. An Italian court then sentenced Schettino to 16+ years in jail. Schettino appealed. It was an accident and he just followed company procedures. But the appeal court confirmed 31 May 2016 that the innocent but unlucky Master must spend 16+ years in jail. It is the cheapest way to solve the problems.
It is an Italian conspiracy. The ship was never seaworthy and insurances were not valid, which media will never report.
Below you can read about what happened and happens to the wreck. It is still ... in drydock 2017 or what is left of it!
Actually no real wreck refloating
was ever taken place. Only buoyancy in the shape of
sponsons was added to the wreck at Isola
del Giglio, so it could be removed, still full of
water, to Genoa. The ship owner then
thought that the wreck full of water had become a
wreck/ship kept floating by sponsons
is November 2015 at a pier of the port of Genoa
being recycled, i.e. slowly being emptied of
outfitting and deckhouse is cut apart. When the
deckhouse structure is removed, the
hull may break into three
parts Many visitors are guided to this
page by various search engines, but you are
recommended to start reading the introduction and
summary of my Costa
because the whole show, not just the
wreck removal and recycling show, is
a scandal that goes on and on. Or start reading
about the little Moldovan
and her role in the drama! 11 February
2015 the Master was
sentenced to 16 years 1 month in jail for, i.a.
sinking the ship and killing
people. The reasons were provided
2015 and can be
According to the verdict
"Thousands of cubic
meters per minute"* flooded some
damaged hull compartments
13 January 2012.
But nobody died then and the
ship didn't sink and no pollution was caused. The
Master thought the ship was safe and ordered
evacuation and abandonment as there was no
electricity, etc., available. Why the ship really
sank the next day has never been officially
established, but is explained here,
i.e. due to progressive
undamaged compartments through illegal
watertight doors. It has happened before many
The wreck/ship kept floating by sponsons is November 2015 at a pier of the port of Genoa being recycled, i.e. slowly being emptied of outfitting and deckhouse is cut apart. When the deckhouse structure is removed, the hull may break into three parts
Many visitors are guided to this page by various search engines, but you are recommended to start reading the introduction and summary of my Costa Concordia article because the whole show, not just the wreck removal and recycling show, is a scandal that goes on and on. Or start reading about the little Moldovan dancer and her role in the drama!
11 February 2015 the Master was sentenced to 16 years 1 month in jail for, i.a. sinking the ship and killing people. The reasons were provided 10 July 2015 and can be read here!
According to the verdict "Thousands of cubic meters per minute"* flooded some damaged hull compartments 21.45 hrs 13 January 2012.
But nobody died then and the ship didn't sink and no pollution was caused. The Master thought the ship was safe and ordered evacuation and abandonment as there was no electricity, etc., available. Why the ship really sank the next day has never been officially established, but is explained here, i.e. due to progressive flooding of undamaged compartments through illegal watertight doors. It has happened before many times.
The ship was not built according to the international safety at sea rules, SOLAS. It was not seaworthy and not safe any time.
The ship was never seaworthy and safe with American ship owner's and Italian authorities full knowledge.
The seven incidents - (1) contact, (2) confused mustering, (3) lifesaving appliances (LSA) not being made ready, (4) opening of illegal watertight doors, (5) confused embarkation into LSA, (6) capsize and (7) sinking - were just bound to happen, like they will happen again to many similar ships as safety at sea is getting worse all the time, like this one 2 November 2014.
On 21 September 2015, the prosecutors presented an appeal against the 16-years prison term handed to former Costa Concordia captain Francesco Schettino in February for the 2012 disaster off Giglio Island in which 32 people died. The prosecutors believe that the punishment is insufficient for the disaster, in which the Costa Concordia capsized three hours after sailing too close to Giglio and hitting a rock. They asked for a 26-years term at the first-instance trial, when Schettino was convicted of multiple manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, abandoning ship and abandoning incapable persons still aboard. But evidently Schettino didn't capsize the ship! The ship was incorrectly designed, not seaworthy and couldn't survive a small contact damage. And then Schettino just ordered his crew to evacuate all passengers/staff aboard according to the plans developed by the ship owner and approved by the Italian authorities ... which nobody had ever tested ... or trained for.
So Schettino also, September 2015, appealed against the ridiculous sentence. He wanted to be declared not guilty of seven incidents. It was one accident ... The appeal case was completed 31 May 2016 at Florence. The appeal court decided that Schettino was responsible for everything and shall spend 16+ years in jail.
The show thus goes on ... and on. But here only the 2012/2014 wreck removal from the rocks outside Isola del Giglio and the 2014/2023 attempts of scrapping/recycling at Genoa is discussed. It is a show in itself, the ending of which that media will not report. You have to read about it here.
is not a place to scrap ships. Ships are
scrapped and recycled at Bangladesh, India,
Pakistan and in similar poor and developing
countries. The old ships are run up on beach
there and cut into pieces that are sorted and
recycled. It is done relatively safely, while
protecting the workers and the environment
nowadays according to new rules being developed.
I have assisted sending >20 ferries or ships
to these countries the past ten years and many
more since 1980. Italy has
however announced it can be done better and
cheaper (?) at, e.g. Genoa, and that the
Costa Concordia wreck will start a new
ship scrapping industry there. It is
evidently 100% nonsense. It is a joke! Part
of a fraud to get money from underwriters and to
cover up a crime. Since
Concordia arrived at Genoa July
2014 no other ship or wreck is lined up for
scrapping at Genoa or Italy! There is no
infrastructure for it in Genoa. The whole thing
is a criminal event to continue stealing money
from insurances and the Italian government
assisted by media. So media cannot report
what happens. You have to find out about here!
If you try the links below to the
recycling the wreck, you'll find that on July
27, 2016: It seems they
are far behind any schedule. I am curious to see
what happens next. I fear the
wreck will break into three parts
in the port and all three parts will later be
sunk outside the port.
Genoa is not a place to scrap ships. Ships are scrapped and recycled at Bangladesh, India, Pakistan and in similar poor and developing countries. The old ships are run up on beach there and cut into pieces that are sorted and recycled. It is done relatively safely, while protecting the workers and the environment nowadays according to new rules being developed. I have assisted sending >20 ferries or ships to these countries the past ten years and many more since 1980.
Italy has however announced it can be done better and cheaper (?) at, e.g. Genoa, and that the Costa Concordia wreck will start a new ship scrapping industry there. It is evidently 100% nonsense. It is a joke! Part of a fraud to get money from underwriters and to cover up a crime.
Since Concordia arrived at Genoa July 2014 no other ship or wreck is lined up for scrapping at Genoa or Italy! There is no infrastructure for it in Genoa. The whole thing is a criminal event to continue stealing money from insurances and the Italian government assisted by media. So media cannot report what happens. You have to find out about here! If you try the links below to the Consortium recycling the wreck, you'll find that on July 27, 2016:
It seems they are far behind any schedule. I am curious to see what happens next. I fear the wreck will break into three parts in the port and all three parts will later be sunk outside the port.
The sections in chapter 11 of this report are numbered #1-54 here for easy reference. There are many interesting aspects of the removal including scrapping/recycling of the wreck/ship never reported by media. I hope you will find them interesting and entertaining, even if it takes time to study them. The sections are:
1. The Concordia wreck/ship is back at Genoa July 2014 at 18.5 meter draught - how did it arrive there and why is it a tourist attraction. Will the wreck/ship finally break into three parts? Four phases of dismantling/recycling. Project delayed several years
1. The Concordia wreck/ship was back at Genoa July 2014 at 18.5 meter draught - how did it arrive there and why is it a tourist attraction. Will the wreck/ship finally break into three parts? Will the illegal drugs be found? Four phases of dismantling/recycling. Project delayed several years
The wreck/ship Concordia was neither safe nor "seaworthy" when it arrived at Genoa July 2014 - it could sink at any moment!
It was reported that the Costa Concordia wreck/ship full of water was sold (sic) at sea 26 July 2014 at unknown price and conditions or simply handed over to a Consortium of Saipem (Italian government oil (!) company)/San Giorgio del Porto (small local company with no experience of ship recycling (!)), but who buys a waterfilled wreck/ship at sea kept floating by sponsons that can sink any time? Maybe the wreck still belongs to the ship owner? We do not know. The value of the wreck is also negative as the cost to scrap the wreck in an environmentally friendly way is said to be â¬100 million. Did wreck owner Costa (or insurance) pay the Consortium â¬100 million to get rid of it? Nobody knows! Media is not interested. Why would this strange Consortium buy this wreck/ship? The name of the wreck was shortened to Concordia, even if another name was still seen on the bow. Anyway, the Consortium maintains they own the wreck 2016.
Maybe the unsafe wreck/ship was
not permitted to enter the port unless it was formally owned
or controlled some way by the government/local interests?
The draught was 18.5 meter.
On 27 July 2014 the
wreck with sponsons attached
nevertheless arrived at the Genoa Voltri
container port and moored in a corner behind a
jetty. It could still sink there again! Reason is
that the water filled wreck/ship is floating
assisted only by the sponsons relying on
compressed air supplied by compressors at the top
of the sponson to push out the water through an
opening hopefully with a valve in the bottom. If a
valve of the sponson leaks and the
compressed air escapes and water enters the
sponson, the wreck/ship will
sink. It would have been much better
and safer to use watertight
On 27 July 2014 the wreck with sponsons attached nevertheless arrived at the Genoa Voltri container port and moored in a corner behind a jetty. It could still sink there again! Reason is that the water filled wreck/ship is floating assisted only by the sponsons relying on compressed air supplied by compressors at the top of the sponson to push out the water through an opening hopefully with a valve in the bottom. If a valve of the sponson leaks and the compressed air escapes and water enters the sponson, the wreck/ship will sink.
It would have been much better and safer to use watertight pontoons.
"The ship (sic) was moored at a port in Genoa last month after the biggest maritime salvage (sic) operation in history."
Actually no ship was salvaged. A water filled wreck of no or negative value had only been removed from one place to another and we haven't seen the end of the show yet. Only the ship owner regards the wreck as a ship again. I wonder why media always report incorrectly. Do media believe that a wreck will sail away like the Flying Dutchman? Haven't media understood that the hull, superstructure and some parts of the deckhouse of the wreck are full of dirty water? Ships are never full of water and their bilges are always dry. Ships float on water! This sunken wreck is only kept floating by sponsons port and starboard.
In the meantime the wreck/ship Concordia became a tourist attraction at Genoa to be looked at from the outside. It could not be totally scrapped at its original, temporary, unsafe location at Genoa Voltri, so it was possible to tow it out to sea and sink it again? Re-sinking! To save money. I explain how below. It never took place in May 2015, though.
Antonio Benvenuti, the head of Genoa's harbour workers' union, told AP (July 2014) that there was no "precise schedule" for each stage of dealing with the wreck or ship. Only in January 2015 some info was provided. But who cares? Insurances? They pay gladly and are part of the conspiracy and fraud.
As Antonio Di Pietro has said and demonstrated several times: it is a fact that Italy is corrupt to the core and it costs very little to arrange anything by just paying the right people. Genoa is just part of that scene. What was seen 2014 at Genoa Voltri port and what will be seen 2015 and 2016 at Genoa are just the latest acts of the Costa Crociere S.p.a, Genoa, Italy, Costa Concordia show.
The Genoa port authority on 18 October 2014 declared that the water filled wreck/ship (mass 45 000 tons) and empty sponsons, (mass about 15 000 tons) kept floating by sponsons at 18.5 meter draught were "safe" and that demolition could start by emptying the humid, cold, slippery deckhouse above water by removing say ~15.000 tons of furniture and fittings (it is a lot!) in it at the present location. Later only 5 700 tons were removed. A little crane was already installed at Isola del Giglio in the swimming pool amidships for this big job that will take six (!) months apparently assisted by containers and barges. It is all fantasy of course, nobody cares about the Genoa port authority and media report the nonsense and then do nothing. Recycling a wreck/ship full of water! It is a joke. So hereafter I regard the wreck/ship as a wreck!
The total mass of wreck (45 000 tons of scrap) and sponsons (15 000 tons) at say 18.5 meter draught is about 60 000 tons. The submerged parts of the water filled wreck provides about 9 000 tons of buoyancy, while the submerged parts of the empty sponsons provide 51 000 tons of buoyancy. By removing 15 000 tons of material from the deckhouse wreck above water, the wreck with mass about 45 000 tons floats up to a new equilibrium at say 13.5 meters draught, where the submerged parts of the wreck provide about 7 000 tons of buoyancy and the submerged but empty sponsons 38 000 tons of buoyancy. Or something like it. I haven't got the hydrostatic data of the wreck + sponsons. It is not easy to reduce the draught of a water filled wreck by removing weights (mass) from the top, though.
There is about 24 100 tons of various waste; bulk* (e.g. tables, chairs, sofas, mattresses etc.), wood+ (e.g. doors, shelves), glass*, plastic,+ paper and cardboard+, waste from electrical/electronic appliances+ (e.g. TV sets, fridges, lamps), packaged products* (e.g. soap, detergents, packaged food products), scrap metal+(say 4 100 tons), insulation*, fittings+ (e.g. tiles, shelves, marble) to remove from the wreck and to transport to Savona, Alessandria, Genoa, Milano, Torino, Pistoia and Alessa. About 10 200 tons will just be disposed* of and only 13 900 tons will be recycled+. The rest - 20 900 tons - is steel plates, steel pipes and steel engine parts and similar that are easy to recycle ... somewhere. It is reasonable to assume that there is about 25.000 tons of steel to recycle (55% of the total light ship weight) and if you can sell it for â¬250:-/ton then you make â¬6.25 million. Therefore the total â¬100 million project seems to be a complete loss maker from the start. So why the interest to recycle the wreck?
There is also a big shipment of Italian mafia drugs hidden aboard! Among the packaged products! On deck #0 in the superstructure. Still four meters below water 1 May 2015! I would have expected that the drugs were brought ashore at Isola del Giglio and delivered to a yacht in the port in cover of the big confusion 14 January 2012 but it seems not correct. The Mafia says they lost the drugs. The drugs may be the reason for bringing the wreck to Genoa for recycling.
Because since 26 March 2015 the wreck is under 24/24 watch. The drugs are still aboard! Media does not really write about it. Italian police is not interested!
The mafia drug connection was already mentioned 2 March 2012, more than three years ago, but nobody bothered about it. It was suggested that a bag of cocaine was going to be dropped off outside Isola del Giglio by M/S Costa Concordia to be picked up by a yacht in the port and that the Master (and mistress?) was/were going to be paid another bag of money, etc, etc. It seems things went wrong, the planned turn/drop off was sabotaged, steering gear and VDR disconnected (??), and the ship contacted a rock close to shore as described in the first part of this report. The cocaine was never dropped off! It was still 2015 inside what is today a wreck at Genoa.
Maybe the mafia will recycle its plastic protected cocaine there now? But beware - the wreck with everything in it belongs to the ship owner Costa! Unless it belongs to the scrapping Consortium. Nobody knows anything 2017!
Could anybody really remove 100
tons/day of waste from the top of a wreck
kept floating by sponsons? The hull of the
wreck is full of dirty water and moored in a remote,
exposed location subject to wind and rain - like a deserted
island. The location is not suitable as a scrap yard. Who is
paying for this comedy? What kind of Italian workers will
accept to work there and under what conditions? Are they
"safe"? How many are they and what are they paid?
Is the wreck insured? What happens if anything
goes wrong? And can Italian demolition workers' safety and
welfare be assured? Has Italian labour authorities approved
the work site as "safe"? Are there toilets and rest
rooms available? Etc. It seems some workers sell
pieces of the wreck as souvenirs to make
ends meet. I doubted very much that
tons of worthless furniture (old beds,
mattresses, chairs, tables, TV-sets, etc.) and
fittings (bathrooms, wall and ceiling panels,
carpets, doors, windows, electric cables, etc.) can
be cut off, moved 100's of meters to containers
below the crane and then loaded on barges to be
transported ashore to another location in the Genoa
Voltri container port - for sorting and
recycling! - in six months (it will take
much longer). Of course some work has apparently
started - 220 persons are reportedly at work
on decks #4, 5, 6 and 7 - but we do not know how
long it will last. On 4 March 2015 only
#6 was fully cleaned
out. We thus had to await
It seems some workers sell pieces of the wreck as souvenirs to make ends meet.
I doubted very much that 15.000 tons of worthless furniture (old beds, mattresses, chairs, tables, TV-sets, etc.) and fittings (bathrooms, wall and ceiling panels, carpets, doors, windows, electric cables, etc.) can be cut off, moved 100's of meters to containers below the crane and then loaded on barges to be transported ashore to another location in the Genoa Voltri container port - for sorting and recycling! - in six months (it will take much longer). Of course some work has apparently started - 220 persons are reportedly at work on decks #4, 5, 6 and 7 - but we do not know how long it will last.
On 4 March 2015 only deck #6 was fully cleaned out.
We thus had to await developments.
Photo Anders Björkman
There were four phases of the Concordia wreck scrapping and final removal:
The first phase involved the stripping and removal of the furnishings, fittings, wall and ceiling panels, windows, doors, cables, pipes, ducts, i.e. the complete cabins/corridors/public rooms of the deckhouse above water. It is quite simple. No real hot work or cutting. The objective was to reduce the draft of the wreck apparently to from 18.5 to 13.5 meter.
It was estimated that about
tons) of waste material needed to be
removed. Phase 1 was expected to be
completed in the first few months of 2015 (possibly
March 2015). All different waste is
transported ashore and recycled by somebody
somewhere. On 1 May 2015 the draught
appeared (seen from a distance) to have been
reduced only one meter, i.e. from about 18.5
to 17.5 meters. At this rate the
stripping may be completed early 2016 ... or
later. On 6 May 2015 we were
told that only 5 700 tons of waste (cabin
outfit) had been removed (i.e. only 20
tons/day) and that the wreck was going
to be moved to another jetty - phase 2 -
subject to approval by safety experts and the Genoa
port authority. On May 15 the
to the "Molo Ex Superbacino" jetty took
place. The draught of the wreck was not reported.
It looked to be about 17 meters, i.e. the
water filled wreck was still mostly below
It was estimated that about 8.000 to 10.000 tons (not 15.000 tons) of waste material needed to be removed.
Phase 1 was expected to be completed in the first few months of 2015 (possibly March 2015). All different waste is transported ashore and recycled by somebody somewhere.
On 1 May 2015 the draught appeared (seen from a distance) to have been reduced only one meter, i.e. from about 18.5 to 17.5 meters. At this rate the stripping may be completed early 2016 ... or later.
On 6 May 2015 we were told that only 5 700 tons of waste (cabin outfit) had been removed (i.e. only 20 tons/day) and that the wreck was going to be moved to another jetty - phase 2 - subject to approval by safety experts and the Genoa port authority.
On May 15 the transfer to the "Molo Ex Superbacino" jetty took place. The draught of the wreck was not reported. It looked to be about 17 meters, i.e. the water filled wreck was still mostly below water.
Towage to the "Molo Ex Superbacino" jetty,
dismantling of the steel deckhouse decks
#2-14 and transfer of sponsons control equipment -
a rather simple part - but when will it be
completed? August 2016! Once the Concordia
wreck reached a required draught (about
17 meters), it was 15 May 2015 towed to the
"Molo Ex Superbacino" jetty. The compressors and equipment to
control valves for the air in the sponsons
installed on top of the deckhouse are
transferred somewhere else. On 27 July 2015 the
informed that another 830 tonnes of material
had been removed (as of 30 June 2015) since
15 May 2015, or 550 tons/month or <20
tons/day. With this work speed it will take
>2 years to finish Phase 2. However the
company is optimistic: The majority of the material
(approx. 80%) was sent to recycling
Phase 2: Towage to the "Molo Ex Superbacino" jetty, dismantling of the steel deckhouse decks #2-14 and transfer of sponsons control equipment - a rather simple part - but when will it be completed? August 2016!
Once the Concordia wreck reached a required draught (about 17 meters), it was 15 May 2015 towed to the "Molo Ex Superbacino" jetty.
The compressors and equipment to control valves for the air in the sponsons installed on top of the deckhouse are transferred somewhere else.
On 27 July 2015 the company informed that another 830 tonnes of material had been removed (as of 30 June 2015) since 15 May 2015, or 550 tons/month or <20 tons/day. With this work speed it will take >2 years to finish Phase 2. However the company is optimistic:
The majority of the material (approx. 80%) was sent to recycling facilities.
At that time the the Master's appeal had been handed in to the appeal court at Florence (Firenze) since September 2015, so media will have something to ignore.
February 2016 the Phase 2 was nowhere close to be finished. Only 16 000 tons of steel/outfit (out of 30 000) had apparently been cut off and removed above deck #5 of the deckhouse. Deck #5 is the open mooring deck forward, which remains in place.
The Consortium has made reports about the progress of Phase 2 as follows:
STATUS UPDATE DECEMBER 23th 2015
December 28, 2015
Concordia dismantling and recycling operations are quickly progressing. About 200 technicians are now working on the wreck. Cutting has reached deck 5 while strip out operations continue to remove internal fitting with work about to be completed on deck 2 and beginning on deck 1. As the weight of the wreck becomes lighter, it is ...
STATUS UPDATE 16th FEBRUARY 2016
February 17, 2016
Concordia dismantling and recycling operations are quickly progressing and the deck 0 is about to re-emerge. About 200 technicians are now working on the wreck and cutting decks - from 5 to 3 - while strip out operations continue to remove internal fitting with work about to be completed on deck 2 and 1. As
STATUS UPDATE 6TH April 2016
April 8, 2016
Concordia dismantling and recycling operations are quickly progressing and the deck 0 has re-emerged over the past weeks. About 200 technicians are now working on the wreck and cutting decks - from 5 to 3 - while strip out operations continue to remove internal fitting, with work about to be completed on deck 2 and ...
So, 200 technicians were December 2015 to May 2016 working or quickly progressing to remove the steel structure of decks #3-5 of the deck house and the outfit of decks #1-2 of the deck house, while the hull below deck #0 is still below water! And then there is the steel structure and outfit of deck #0 of the superstructure to dispose of, before you can access the hull below deck #0.
It would be interesting to see how the damaged hull below deck #0 that is full of dirty water will be cleaned out and how to restore autonomous buoyancy, whatever that is. Self-governing buoyancy? In order to restore autonomous buoyancy you must remove plenty sea water from the hull. But how? There was no news of the drugs on deck #0 either. I did not really wonder why media had lost interest in this scandal. Do you?
How the hull full of water was to be provided with buoyancy was not clear!
On July 27, 2016 the Consortium informed:
Concordia dismantling and recycling operations are progressing and the about 200 technicians are working on the wreck and cutting decks - from 3 to 1 - while the decks from 14 to 3 (partly) have already been removed.
So maybe they have already started Phase 3? But is the waterfilled wreck July 27, 2016 kept floating by only 8 side sponsons and the blister? If the draught is 14 meters 8 sponsons and the blister can only provide 13 000 m3 buoyancy. Maybe some double bottoms tanks have been pumped dry to provide buoyancy? Anyway, all sponsons must be removed in order to reduce beam at to proceed and the draught must be reduced to <12 meters to put the wreck in drydock.
The hull/superstructure has beam
~35 meters and depth ~14 meters and is only kept floating by
30 10 meters wide sponsons attached port and
starboard. Total beam of the wreck
is therefore 55 meters, which is too much for the
drydock at Genoa. After the deckhouse has
been removed, the draught may still be 8-9
meters. The hull below deck #0
has engine rooms and three decks (A, B and C)
with crew cabins, store and service rooms in many
separate compartments. The objective of Phase 3 was to
create, say ~17 000 m3
buoyancy inside the hull by making
several of the water filled wreck
hull compartments below water
airtight at the #0 deck level. By
filling the spaces with ~17 000
m3 compressed air and pushing out
tons of dirty water to maintain draught of the
hull further to say 11 meters, the wreck
will float again! There will still be
m3 of polluted water inside the
Total beam of the wreck is therefore 55 meters, which is too much for the drydock at Genoa. After the deckhouse has been removed, the draught may still be 8-9 meters.
The hull below deck #0 has engine rooms and three decks (A, B and C) with crew cabins, store and service rooms in many separate compartments.
The objective of Phase 3 was to create, say ~17 000 m3 buoyancy inside the hull by making several of the water filled wreck hull compartments below water airtight at the #0 deck level. By filling the spaces with ~17 000 m3 compressed air and pushing out some 17.000 tons of dirty water to maintain draught of the hull further to say 11 meters, the wreck will float again! There will still be 60.000 - 70.000 m3 of polluted water inside the wreck.
In principle it should be easy to provide inside and remove outside buoyancy, when the top of the hull - deck #0 - is above water. But you have to reinforce the #0 deck of the wreck!
The hull consists of about 16 "watertight" compartments full of water, four of which (#4-7) are damaged due to the contact port side aft and another two at PA (#3) aft and PF (#12) forward damaged at bottom/bilge due to the capsize and parbuckling.
The "watertight" compartments have 25 illegal watertight doors fitted in the 15 bulkheads that probably are open, i.e. they are not "watertight". Actually these illegal doors sank the ship 2012.
However, if you make the thin, say 5 mm thick, #0 bulkhead deck airtight and ensure that the bulkheads below are "watertight", then you could push out 17.000 tons of water from the water filled hull compartments below using 0.6-0.8 bar compressed air ... and the wreck floats by itself!
Furthermore with a loose bow section forward of PF described in point 35 below that can fall off, even if it is kept floating assisted by a "blister" (see below) still in place, the wreck may break apart.
The #0 bulkhead deck can only carry say
200 kgs/m² lateral load. Compressed air will apply say 6
000-8 000 kgs/m² load to re-float the ship, so
you really have to reinforce the #0 deck with
external longitudinal and transverse structure to
refloat the wreck with compressed
air. The same extra structure will
prevent the wreck from breaking apart when
floating. You use the same air compressors
that were used for the sponsons to keep the wreck
floating. It seems that the #0 bulkhead
deck (and the cocaine) came above water in May
2016 and the deck was reinforced and made
airtight June-July 2016. Nobody was told
anything about it. Media reported
nothing. I really wonder how many tons of
steel was added to #0 deck to enable refloating by
compressed air and prevent breaking
Compressed air will apply say 6 000-8 000 kgs/m² load to re-float the ship, so you really have to reinforce the #0 deck with external longitudinal and transverse structure to refloat the wreck with compressed air.
The same extra structure will prevent the wreck from breaking apart when floating.
You use the same air compressors that were used for the sponsons to keep the wreck floating.
It seems that the #0 bulkhead deck (and the cocaine) came above water in May 2016 and the deck was reinforced and made airtight June-July 2016. Nobody was told anything about it. Media reported nothing.
I really wonder how many tons of steel was added to #0 deck to enable refloating by compressed air and prevent breaking apart.
No pictures of the damaged underwater wreck hull have ever been made available.
It is possible that the wreck hull breaks into three parts now unless it happened already at phase 2 alongside the jetty, when the deckhouse, providing longitudinal strength, is removed. The bulkhead deck on top of the hull is thin and not very strong; the aft and fore ends flip one way and the middle part another way, when the hull plates buckle and fracture vertically, etc.
In retrospect you should have repaired the port contact hull side damage in situ watertight, when wreck was resting on the rocks, and reinforced the starboard bilge in way of the parbuckling contact areas to avoid damages/leakages of the hull when parbuckling. Then it would have been fairly easy to pump the complete hull dry when the top was above water.
Final dismantling operations
started 1 September 2016 in dry dock no. 4 at Genoa
(when Phase 3 was completed). The complete cutting
up - plenty hot work - of the
tons hull and superstructure,
including the removal of all remaining interior
fittings on three, four decks. Removal of engines,
generators, pumps, piping, fuel tanks, cold stores
and the clean-up of additional areas, etc, will
take place. The space around the drydock is
very limited. All scrap have to be lifted by cranes
from the wreck in the dock to quays and then
... to barges ? Logistics appear to be difficult.
To say the least. Normally you do not scrap
hulls in drydocks.
Final dismantling operations started 1 September 2016 in dry dock no. 4 at Genoa (when Phase 3 was completed). The complete cutting up - plenty hot work - of the 17.000 tons hull and superstructure, including the removal of all remaining interior fittings on three, four decks. Removal of engines, generators, pumps, piping, fuel tanks, cold stores and the clean-up of additional areas, etc, will take place.
The space around the drydock is very limited. All scrap have to be lifted by cranes from the wreck in the dock to quays and then ... to barges ? Logistics appear to be difficult. To say the least. Normally you do not scrap hulls in drydocks.
The draught may now be about 11 meters. When the floating wreck hull is in drydock and the drydock is pumped dry 2016 and the wreck comes to rest on the drydock blocks, we will finally see the wreck underwater hull out of water. Remaining 50 000-60 000 (!!) tons of polluted water in the wreck hull will finally flow out into the dock and be pumped into the port basin. Then we can see, if what is said to have happened really happened 2012. Did the Master really run his ship on a rock as alleged ripping open the aft port side to sink it, killing people and then run away? The 25 illegal watertight doors can finally be inspected in situ! The value of the scrap steel is known but does not pay the costs.
Total demolition/recycling was planned to take 22 months and be completed August 2016 we were told. But it will probably be completed 2024 or 2025 at treble cost ... or not at all! Money, money, money generously spent! You should wonder where it comes from. Nobody seems to care about time and money.
May 2012 the Salvors promised that the wreck would be removed by May 2013 from Isola del Giglio at a certain cost. July 2014 the wreck was removed at three times higher cost and 15 months late. You can thus be certain that recycling at Genoa will take much longer time and cost much more than promised. It is part of the show.
Added to a $500m+ H&M insurance claim
the Costa Concordia wreck removal incl.
recycling is definitely set to cost the P&I
market very close to $2
billion. It is by no means guaranteed that there will not be
some further loss creep (although not too much more can be
expected), which could take the final bill over the $2
billion mark, at which point there is a possibility that
some additional instruments which are based on a loss
trigger could come into play. As the Constructive Total
Loss, CTL, of the ship was of the order
$500+ million, the removal of the
wreck from Isola del Giglio seems to have
cost almost $1.5 billion so far. But
(re-)insurers seem to pay, even if they should not.
The ship was not
seaworthy and the insurance was not
valid. It was a substandard, unsafe and
not seaworthy ship and the ship owner, Carnival
Corp. p.l.c., knew it. It
is really sad. An accident took
place at sea and a ship capsized and sank
the next day killing people but in lieu of
a proper accident investigation to find
out what really happened in order to
improve safety at sea, it was immediately
decided by concerned parties - a
conspiracy! - that all was the fault of
the unlucky Master alone ... and that
everything else was in perfect order
including the ship owner. False accident
investigations reports were produced and a
show trial of the Master initiated to
protect the real culprits. In the meantime
the incompetent ship owner was permitted
to attempt removal of the wreck and
another disaster could have been produced.
The drama is still going on. And safety at
sea is worse than ever. Wreck of
always not seaworthy and unsafe Costa Concordia at
Genoa 28 July 2014. If the wreck really can be
scrapped there remains to be seen. Maybe it will be
abandoned in this remote corner of the port of
Genoa Voltri? You should wonder, if the wreck is
insured against sinking (again) and blocking the
port, and what port authority accepted the risk.
The whole thing looks unsafe!
As the Constructive Total Loss, CTL, of the ship was of the order $500+ million, the removal of the wreck from Isola del Giglio seems to have cost almost $1.5 billion so far. But (re-)insurers seem to pay, even if they should not. The ship was not seaworthy and the insurance was not valid.
It was a substandard, unsafe and not seaworthy ship and the ship owner, Carnival Corp. p.l.c., knew it.
It is really sad. An accident took place at sea and a ship capsized and sank the next day killing people but in lieu of a proper accident investigation to find out what really happened in order to improve safety at sea, it was immediately decided by concerned parties - a conspiracy! - that all was the fault of the unlucky Master alone ... and that everything else was in perfect order including the ship owner. False accident investigations reports were produced and a show trial of the Master initiated to protect the real culprits. In the meantime the incompetent ship owner was permitted to attempt removal of the wreck and another disaster could have been produced. The drama is still going on. And safety at sea is worse than ever.
Wreck of always not seaworthy and unsafe Costa Concordia at Genoa 28 July 2014. If the wreck really can be scrapped there remains to be seen. Maybe it will be abandoned in this remote corner of the port of Genoa Voltri? You should wonder, if the wreck is insured against sinking (again) and blocking the port, and what port authority accepted the risk. The whole thing looks unsafe!
In order to assist the reader to understand the basics of wreck removal some definitions of words used in this article are given:
(*The Swedish Maritime Authority, Sjöfartsverket, believes that all deckhouses are watertight and that a ship like M/S Estonia floats on the deckhouse. Same authority also believes it is normal practice that passengers jump into the sea and swim ashore when their ship sinks.)
The ship owner, today the past (wreck was apparently sold or given away (sic) July 2014 at Genoa) wreck owner, Costa Crociere S.p.a., Genoa, Italy, of the never seaworthy, always 2006-2012, dangerous ship M/S Costa Concordia that sank 14 January 2012 outside Isola del Giglio, suggested after the sinking that the wreck was to be refloated and towed away May 2013 full of water at 18 meters draught at a certain cost. Repairs of the wreck were possible, we were told. All is explained and analyzed below. The wreck owner February 2012 invited companies that were thought to be capable of performing the removal work, i.e. removing the intact wreck in the shortest period of time while also ensuring maximum safety and minimum environmental impact. We were told February 2012 that it would take 10 months and cost $300 million. In the end it has cost $1.5 billion ... and the wreck is still full of water and can sink again any moment.
The Salvors appointed by the wreck owner informed May 2012 that >400 persons were going to work 24/24, 7/7, to salvage the wreck - video. It was not true. There were very bad management, delays, people were doing nothing, alleged bad weather was not planned for, various excuses were presented, incompetence was rampant, suddenly most workers disappeared for many months, etc, so the refloating date was changed to July 2014. Just 14 months late! And when the cost skyrocketed to >$1.000 millions, media stopped reporting. And no guarantees were presented to show that any outstanding work really could be accomplished. You wonder where the money is gone. Not to the habitants of Isola del Giglio that complain bitterly that the wreck has destroyed the tourist business and ambiance of the island.
The wreck had during three
winters and many storms been damaged so it,
probably, could not be refloated without risk The
environment is damaged - 20 000 tons of cement has
been poured on the sea floor - the coral reefs have
been crushed and one diver has died as safety could
not be maintained. But work continued. Nobody, including the
wreck owner, bothered for two years to
investigate how to and where to scrap the
wreck that is, at 18 meters draught after
refloating ... full of water. Isn't it
silly? The wreck owner said that the wreck will be
refloated but didn't not know what to do
with it afterwards except that it shall
not be repaired (a decision taken
2013). Costa CEO Thamm has informed that the
decision where to scrap the wreck will be
taken in 'complete
but no decision is taken. On 26 March 2014
it was announced that the public was to be told
in fact supposed to be given Monday, 14
April 2014, 16.00 hrs at the Hotel
Saraceno, Giglio Porto (not Wednesday, 9
April as first advised). Then the
Commissioner for the emergency of the M/S
Costa Concordia, prefect Franco Gabrielli,
together with the mayor Sergio Ortelli and
the president of the Observers on the work
of removal Maria Sargentini met the
population of Isola del Giglio to inform
and to answer all questions
about the progress of the removal
activities of the ship M/S Costa Concordia
like: 1. What date will Salvors T/M start
fitting the missing 19 sponsons? 2. What
date will all preparation work be
finished, so that refloating can start? 3.
Are you certain that the wreck after
capsize, sinking, up-righting and spending
three winters on the rocky bottom is
strong enough to be refloated? 4. Where
will the wreck be towed after refloating
by what tow company?
The wreck had during three winters and many storms been damaged so it, probably, could not be refloated without risk The environment is damaged - 20 000 tons of cement has been poured on the sea floor - the coral reefs have been crushed and one diver has died as safety could not be maintained. But work continued.
Nobody, including the wreck owner, bothered for two years to investigate how to and where to scrap the wreck that is, at 18 meters draught after refloating ... full of water. Isn't it silly? The wreck owner said that the wreck will be refloated but didn't not know what to do with it afterwards except that it shall not be repaired (a decision taken 2013). Costa CEO Thamm has informed that the decision where to scrap the wreck will be taken in 'complete transparency', but no decision is taken. On 26 March 2014 it was announced that the public was to be told "next week".
Answers were in fact supposed to be given Monday, 14 April 2014, 16.00 hrs at the Hotel Saraceno, Giglio Porto (not Wednesday, 9 April as first advised). Then the Commissioner for the emergency of the M/S Costa Concordia, prefect Franco Gabrielli, together with the mayor Sergio Ortelli and the president of the Observers on the work of removal Maria Sargentini met the population of Isola del Giglio to inform and to answer all questions about the progress of the removal activities of the ship M/S Costa Concordia like: 1. What date will Salvors T/M start fitting the missing 19 sponsons? 2. What date will all preparation work be finished, so that refloating can start? 3. Are you certain that the wreck after capsize, sinking, up-righting and spending three winters on the rocky bottom is strong enough to be refloated? 4. Where will the wreck be towed after refloating by what tow company?
On May 13, 2014, US magazine Scientific American reported, confusingly as usual:
"The Concordia is resting safely on massive underwater platforms on the seabed and kept upright by a series of chains, pulleys and caissons on the ship's port side."
Actually only 20% of the port, flat bottom was resting on some underwater platforms, maybe. We do not know, if the platforms were aligned. And only 10% of the starboard, flat bottom was resting on two sharp rock outreaches PF and PA that have cut the flat bottom open forward and aft. The rest, incl. the fore ship, was not resting on anything! It could fall off any time! The wreck may break into three parts at refloating. At present the wreck was secured to the shore and held together by 22 chains fitted on the port (outer) side and running below the wreck. These chains will be disconnected and used to secure the starboard sponsons #S7-11 12 meters below the water surface. When it is done nothing secures the wreck to the shore. The wreck must then be pushed against the rocky shore by tugs until refloating.
On May 30, 2014, the Salvors told media that the project was 86.3% finished (sic). How to finish the 13.7% is explained below and the 86.3% already done is reported further down. In December 2014 the job was evidently still not finished. The wreck was 18 meters draught full of water at Genoa, where it can sink again at any moment.
The inhabitants of Isola del Giglio and the rest of us were thus not, mid -April 2014, told the real situation. It seems difficult to provide detailed answers to simple, stupid questions. I was personally just curious to find out that the damaged wreck did not break apart at liftoff and, if the final decision may be was re-sinking? Was the wreck owner thinking about re-sinking? Why scrap when you can re-sink it again? And what competent authority will check and approve anything? On 18 June the mayor of Isola del Giglio wrote a letter to Costa asking for clarifications. I did not expect any reply! Costa does not know!
Re-sinking of the refloated M/S Costa Concordia wreck is easy - just fill the sponsons with water, when wreck is in deep water (say >100 meters) after refloating and then sinking follows. It is similar to scuttling a ship.
If you google "costa concordia re-sinking" you'll get, like me when I tried, about 1 920 000 results in 0.37 seconds. Of course this page is #1 on Google about re-sinking. The other 1 919 999 hits had nothing at all about re-sinking, so you wonder why Google links to them. Re-sinking is the cheapest solution, when you realize that there is no port to receive the wreck for scrapping.
A spectacular re-sinking after liftoff and moving the wreck to deep water is just to fill the sponsons on one side: the wreck will then roll over on that side and sink. Maybe the wreck breaks apart in the process and it will be a great show?
Where/when will the re-sinking take place to end the Costa Concordia fiasco? Easiest location is 300 meters East of present position off Isola del Giglio after liftoff July 2014 before refloating. Another possibility is where the Tyrrhenian Sea is >3 000 meters deep sometimes 2015. The latter will not be spectacular. The visible 25 meters top of the deckhouse of the refloated wreck will just quietly disappear below water with nobody looking on. But you save money! Plenty ports in Italy and worldwide have informed they will scrap Costa Concordia but it will cost ¬ 200-300 millions. Thus cheaper to re-sink! But then Costa loses its 20% commission. So the biz will go on. Until it fails! We were first to see what happened July, 2014. The wreck was actually refloated and towed to Genoa. Plenty people are interested in the developments of the removal of the wreck from Isola del Giglio, so let's start with them.
happens, 15 starboard
#S1-15 and four port #P1-2 and
#P14-15 pre-fabricated sponsons shall be
attached to the wreck, so it can first
from the sea bed and then be
refloated 12 meters and finally towed
away - all explained here
and summarized below: 11 sponsons #P3-13 are
already welded to the port side of the wreck 2013.
If the seriously structurally
damaged wreck could actually be refloated
was not certain. You have to apply plenty (about
buoyancy forces to the wreck to refloat
and that buoyancy is not yet in place.
29 March - 20 April winches and fairleads were
fitted on the wreck for the sponson barges, i.e.
the sponsons will arrive by barges and then using a
big floating crane dropped into the water to be
attached to the wreck. The 19 sponsons were ready
for transport to Isola del Giglio 20 April. There
are 13 tugs, supply and work boats with 71 crew
members sailing around the wreck from dawn to dusk.
At night nothing happens. Only 171 persons did
removal work then with more arriving. You can see
Each of the 19 missing (61%)
sponsons (simple steel boxes) shall be transported
upright on a barge from Livorno (Leghorn) to
Isola del Giglio, via Marina
di Carrara for final
outfitting (fitting of compressed air filling
valves, water discharge valves, sounding system)
starting 20 April, 2014, and lifted off, dropped
down below water and moored with chains along the
wreck. On location the 19 sponsons shall be
submerged below water (zero buoyancy)
and attached with total 56 chains one way or
another to the side of the wreck. 22 of the chains
are presently used to pull the wreck to the shore,
while 34 chains are already connected on the port
side and ready to be hooked up to the sponsons on
the starboard side.
Before re-sinking happens, 15 starboard #S1-15 and four port #P1-2 and #P14-15 pre-fabricated sponsons shall be attached to the wreck, so it can first liftoff from the sea bed and then be refloated 12 meters and finally towed away - all explained here and summarized below:
11 sponsons #P3-13 are already welded to the port side of the wreck 2013.
If the seriously structurally damaged wreck could actually be refloated was not certain. You have to apply plenty (about 51.000 m3) buoyancy forces to the wreck to refloat and that buoyancy is not yet in place. 29 March - 20 April winches and fairleads were fitted on the wreck for the sponson barges, i.e. the sponsons will arrive by barges and then using a big floating crane dropped into the water to be attached to the wreck. The 19 sponsons were ready for transport to Isola del Giglio 20 April. There are 13 tugs, supply and work boats with 71 crew members sailing around the wreck from dawn to dusk. At night nothing happens. Only 171 persons did removal work then with more arriving. You can see it here.
Each of the 19 missing (61%) sponsons (simple steel boxes) shall be transported upright on a barge from Livorno (Leghorn) to Isola del Giglio, via Marina di Carrara for final outfitting (fitting of compressed air filling valves, water discharge valves, sounding system) starting 20 April, 2014, and lifted off, dropped down below water and moored with chains along the wreck. On location the 19 sponsons shall be submerged below water (zero buoyancy) and attached with total 56 chains one way or another to the side of the wreck. 22 of the chains are presently used to pull the wreck to the shore, while 34 chains are already connected on the port side and ready to be hooked up to the sponsons on the starboard side.
On 12 June sponsons
#S1-13 were in place but not submerged the
12 meters required for refloating to achieve 18
meters draught after
Their tops were just a few meters below water. The
chains are apparently used to secure the wreck to
shore. The work of the
competent authorities can be
. It is clear that
the competent authority lacks technical expertise
to judge the feasibility of the crazy refloating
system and that a total review has never been
done. It is a pity that no webcams are
installed underwater so we can follow the work. A
big Dutch crane barge "CONQUEST MB1" (left) is
used. It can lift 1 800 tons. But what happens
below water, nobody knows. How can the competent
authority decide anything without knowing what
happens below water?
On 12 June sponsons #S1-13 were in place but not submerged the 12 meters required for refloating to achieve 18 meters draught after liftoff. Their tops were just a few meters below water. The chains are apparently used to secure the wreck to shore.
The work of the competent authorities can be studied here . It is clear that the competent authority lacks technical expertise to judge the feasibility of the crazy refloating system and that a total review has never been done.
It is a pity that no webcams are installed underwater so we can follow the work. A big Dutch crane barge "CONQUEST MB1" (left) is used. It can lift 1 800 tons. But what happens below water, nobody knows. How can the competent authority decide anything without knowing what happens below water?
Four tall sponsons, #P1
and #P2 on port side and #S1 and
#S2 on starboard side, each apparently 30
meters high, and say 10 meters wide and 10 meters
long are going to be attached to the sides of the
loose fore ship in June/July 2014 0-30 meters
underwater(!). The tall boxes will be >98%
submerged and pushed against the wreck ... and
attached at the bottom to the 'blister'
below via hooks and bolts. And how connect the
sponson top above water to the bow? By wires! If
you lose a bow sponson, it will sink to 60 meters
depth. The #S1 and #S2
sponsons arrived on a barge at the wreck on 18 June
(left) and #S2 was lifted off and the barge
didn't trim at all! Strange. #S2 was then
dropped into the sea at the wreck floating with
>7 meters freeboard ... and left floating like
that the next days, i.e. it was not fully submerged
and connected to the 'blister'.
Four tall sponsons, #P1 and #P2 on port side and #S1 and #S2 on starboard side, each apparently 30 meters high, and say 10 meters wide and 10 meters long are going to be attached to the sides of the loose fore ship in June/July 2014 0-30 meters underwater(!).
The tall boxes will be >98% submerged and pushed against the wreck ... and attached at the bottom to the 'blister' below via hooks and bolts. And how connect the sponson top above water to the bow? By wires! If you lose a bow sponson, it will sink to 60 meters depth.
The #S1 and #S2 sponsons arrived on a barge at the wreck on 18 June (left) and #S2 was lifted off and the barge didn't trim at all! Strange. #S2 was then dropped into the sea at the wreck floating with >7 meters freeboard ... and left floating like that the next days, i.e. it was not fully submerged and connected to the 'blister'.
At completion of all sponson installation works incl. adjusting the chains - now re-scheduled for 20 July - the sponsons or rather the 56 chains are ready to transmit more buoyancy force to the wreck for liftoff. Just fill the sponsons with compressed air and push the inside water out. The complete air filling, water discharge and sounding systems with valves must then have been tested and be shown working for each sponson. In the end the sponsons #S4-S12 were never submerged as originally planned. They were left floating in the waterline and by pulling in the chains the wreck was refloated. The forward/aft sponsons shall also be used as towing connections and must be very strongly attached to the wreck. It would appear that the wreck fore ship is loose and badly attached to the rest of the wreck (see below) so it may drop off at liftoff.
Let's assume that 300 m3 compressed air at >2.5 bar can be filled per hour in the very complex 30 sponsons and the blister buoyancy system created by the Salvors. Let's assume that all recently fitted sponsons #S3-S12, S18 are correctly positioned with their tops 12 meters and bottoms 30 meters below water, so you can float up the wreck 12 meters to achieve 18 meters draught (blue waterline). If the top of the starboard sponsons is only in the pre-refloating (green) waterline, you can only float up the wreck a little - less than 0.5 meter - and that is not sufficient, unless you only want to shift the wreck into deeper water for re-sinking
The compressed air arrives at the top of the sponson and the water inside the sponson is forced out through the bottom of the sponson and buoyancy is created and applied to the wreck. Maximum air pressure is required just prior liftoff, when the sponson is almost empty at 30 meters draught.
Before liftoff the damaged wreck rests on the sea bed (platforms and hard rocks) in one piece. After about 47 000 m3 buoyancy or 47 000 tons (if it is the submerged mass of the wreck?) is uniformly applied >12 meters underwater directly to the wreck by the 30 sponsons and the blister with air at ~2.5 bar pressure inside say July 2014 (it will take 157 hours or 6.5 days, if you start from scratch, but evidently you start early and keep the sponsons part filled) the wreck will thus liftoff from ground at 29.99 meters draught - the water filled and damaged wreck floats again for the first time after two and a half years on the rocky bottom! - and must be kept in place by plenty strong tugs forward/aft/middle not to drift away or slip off or up on land, unless it breaks into pieces of course. The total mass of wreck and water inside it may be >220.000 tons! The tugs will apparently connect to the tops of the end sponsons that are above water all the time. These sponsons are in turn connected by wires to the deckhouse.
The buoyancy must be uniformly applied forward/aft/port/starboard. If you apply buoyancy only at, e.g. the aft end, it will of course float up, but the forward end will drop down and the wreck may move forward and drop down into the ocean.
47 000 tons of force is now applied to the wreck structure by 15 sponsons port, 15 sponsons starboard and the blister via the welded sponson connections port and via the 56 chains attached to the starboard sponsons and in touch with the hull bilge plate/structure. Hopefully the chains will not slice the starboard bilge plate structure! Each of the 56 point loads/forces on the thin, 12 mm bilge plate is more than 400 tonnes!! A sponson applies on average 1 500 tons of force on the wreck. It is a big force! Before all contact forces were applied on the wreck's flat bottom by the fixed supports of platforms and rocks on the sea bed. Now the forces are applied in the port, vertical side and at the starboard bilge and the floating wreck will heel and trim, if the buoyancy forces are applied asymmetrically. You must therefore adjust the forces accordingly. If the buoyancy forces of the 30 sponsons are not perfectly applied, the wreck will trim and heel and apply bending moment and shear forces to the damaged wreck and contact forces at rocks and platforms.
Another difference now is that the wreck may deform freely due to lack of fixed supports of the platforms/rocks and the structure may crack. If there is a hull fracture due to deformations and/or the forces being applied differently, it develops very fast and will be heard as a big bang. The damaged, floating wreck may break apart any time and it goes quickly.
Liftoff of a damaged wreck using the Salvors underwater buoyancy system is a very dangerous business. Any person remaining on the wreck during liftoff is at risk. The competent authorities are kindly requested to consider it.
You can now tow the wreck away at 29.99 meters draught. There are rumours that the wreck owner and the Salvors intend to do just that. As soon as the wreck is floating a little, the tugs will move it away. Are they planning an early re-sinking?
If you Google "costa concordia liftoff", you will get 64 900 results in 0.28 seconds with this page as #1. There are no references to Salvors' or competent authorities' web sites.
After liftoff, hopefully in front of not very intelligent Main Stream Media, MSM, ashore so we can be told what happens in their restricted view, the wreck will be floating at <29.99 meters draught. Of course you cannot see it, but crazy persons, if any, aboard may feel it. MSM should send a volunteer aboard to report! Waves and currents will immediately affect the floating wreck that can now be towed away from Isola del Giglio for further action away from MSM, if suitable towage tugs are available, but hopefully the wreck will remain in sight, held in location by tugs (and mooring to shore?) and not suddenly just sink and disappear or whatever! Anything may happen now.
By applying, extremely carefully now, about another 4 000 m3 buoyancy or compressed air in the 30 underwater sponsons >12 meters below water, which corresponds to the buoyancy of 12 meters of top deckhouse still below water, to force out 4 000 tons of water from the sponsons, the wreck will refloat or float up 12 meters, hopefully without trimming and heeling too much, and arrive at 18 meters draught even trim/heel and all the contaminated water in that part - ~100.000 tons will flow out. It will take another 13 hours, if you fill air at rate 300 m3/hour, but it may go much, much faster - a couple of minutes! - as the air expands by itself, when external sea water pressure at the bottom of the sponson is reduced, when it floats up. The tops of starboard sponsons #S3-13 must be 12 meters below water at the beginning of this stage. At the end of the refloating the tops of the fully submerged sponsons will be just above water. Imagine that applying only on average 130 tons of extra buoyancy to each sponson, the whole rusty, dirty, stinking wreck deckhouse full of rotten furniture and carpets will rise another 12 meters above water. But if the buoyancy is applied incorrectly, only one end may refloat up and the wreck may trim 12 meters ... or more ... with the other end still on the rocks! refloating is a very dangerous business. In the end the sponsons #S4-S14 were never submerged 12 meters but were left floating in the waterline. refloating of the wreck was completed by pulling in the chains. It was evidently much safer and simpler and could have been accomplished much faster using normal pontoons.
51 000 tons of buoyancy forces are now applied to the damaged but floating wreck. The compressed air pressure in the sponsons is reduced to ~1.7 bar at the end. Maybe the submerged mass of the floating wreck is less than 51.000 tons and then liftoff and refloating will require a little less air in the sponsons. The total mass of wreck and contaminated water inside may be >120.000 tons.
MSM have suggested that the wreck was refloated already 16 September, 2013, but they misunderstood as usual. Then the wreck was just up-righted into deeper water and filled with more water and structurally damaged so it couldn't be refloated later without great risks.
After refloating, if you are lucky hopefully the wreck with its stinking deckhouse full of rotten shit remains with even trim and heel and does not break into three pieces, the wreck owner shall now arrange towage of the wreck (about 51.000 tons submerged mass) and the remaining water inside (about 70 000 tons) away to somewhere, where the wreck can be disposed. You cannot anchor the floating wreck as there are no anchors. You can probably moor it somewhere but then you need a jetty with 18 meters depth ... and where do you find it? Genoa Voltri? If any air or isolation valve jams, you may lose control of the whole thing. The tow must not be imprudent or unsafe. And you have to act fast! If waves >2 meters high occur, the wreck may break apart due to wave induced bending moments!
The wreck owner must find a towage company that is prepared to keep a mass of >220.000 tons in location during refloating and to tow >120.000 tons of water filled wreck somewhere. I wonder what towage company is prepared to handle a wreck full of water with a stinking deckhouse full of rotten shit above water and under what conditions. Nobody can evidently enter the stinking deckhouse and apply tow lines, etc. The main tow lines will thus be connected to the tops of sponsons #S1 and #P1 at the fore ship that in turn are connected by wires to the deckhouse. One little problem is that the whole fore ship can drop off at any time due to cracks in the hull. So the wreck may be towed at the stern and connected to sponsons #S15 and #P15 at the aft end that in turn are connected by wires to the deckhouse. But also the aft end may drop off! It is damaged both port and starboard, i.w.o. the engine rooms!
My experience of towage is limited. Once we towed a damaged ferry with displacement/mass about 5 000 tons from Marseille to Port Said and another time an empty hull, also about 5 000 tons, from Nikolaev to Genoa. Both ships were about 120 meters long. We used in each case a big tug with bollard pull 70-100 tons. And in each case the tug master had very specific ideas how to attach the tow wire(s) to the ship and what fairleads to use, etc. It was interesting and fun. In this case the mass of the water filled wreck to tow is >120 000 tons. I assume you need a couple of 200 tons bollard pull tugs ... and where to find those? And how to connect the tow wires?
If all goes according to plans (that change all the time) 16 June 2014 we will know what towage company/tugs are chosen and to what port the wreck shall be towed to, as now the Italian government itself is directing the show! Sorry ... the Italian government has changed it to 25 or 26 June.
The ship/wreck owner Costa is famous to blame others for everything, when things go wrong. As they say: "The ship/wreck owner is not responsible what happens aboard the ship/wreck ... it is indisputable that the Salvors are responsible for the wreck, the towage company for the tow, etc, etc". Maybe no towage company is prepared to assist? Media are getting more and more silent. They don't like to report fiascos. Insurance? They just pay ... when they should not.
There are plenty self-appointed experts of towage of the structurally damaged wreck, duration of towage and risks involved and all believe it is possible to tow the damaged wreck anywhere, e.g. that a one day tow to Piombino is the best and not deemed imprudent or unsafe.
Greenpeace - an NGO that says it protects the oceans had earlier suggested:
"Rome, March 10 - Greenpeace Italy on Monday called for the Costa Concordia wreck to be disposed of safely in a European port following the 1992 Basel Convention, which among other measures bans the export of hazardous naval waste from industrialized to non-industrialized nations."
Naval waste? Is the wreck suddenly naval waste? Greenpeace had been fooled by media to believe lies like:
"The Costa Concordia cruise liner hit rocks (sic) and partially (sic) capsized off the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 13 (sic), 2012, killing 32 out of the 4,229 people on board."
The Costa Concordia never hit any rocks and never partially capsized in January 13, 2012, killing nobody but simply, after an accidental contact January 13, suddenly capsized and sank on January 14, 2012, when 32 persons left aboard drowned. No hazardous, naval waste was produced in the process!
But Greenpeace has a point regarding the removal of the wreck:
"It's absurd bet on the structural strength of the wreck of the Costa Concordia."
I like that. Evidently the wreck is too damaged to be removed or towed anywhere.
Another idea is, however, disregarding any strength aspects, to tow the wreck full of water at 18 meters draught for five days to the container port at Genoa Voltri and to cut off the deckhouse above the blue waterline there and put the pieces on the jetty and ship them off. It is maybe possible if cranes and space are available. The wreck will then float at draught 10 meters. You can then continue emptying the hull from above and reduce the draught to <8 meters and finally bring the wreck - beam ~55 meters with sponsons - to a dock nearby and cut up the hull. Cost? ¬200 million. To avoid that cost re-sinking is much cheaper.
The Salvors informed around 11 July a preliminary program as follows:
14 July - liftoff
According Salvors T/M Phase 1 of the operations will last about 6 hours, during which the traffic around the wreck is suspended. The first phase is actually in three parts. First is a liftoff of the wreck from the rocks and platforms followed, second, by a 2 feet upwards lift of the wreck from the rocks and platforms followed, third, by moving the water filled floating wreck with the aid of tugs about 30 meters eastwards.
For liftoff you need about 47 000 m3 compressed air in the caissons and it cannot be filled in say 6 hours. The air filling of the caissons may therefore have started already today 11 July, if liftoff takes place 14 July as announced.
The starboard caissons are not in their final positions. They are floating in the waterline with their bottoms at 20 meters depth and need only <2 bar compressed air to be emptied completely. The bottom of the port caissons are at 30 meters depth and must be filled with air at ~3 bar to eject all water.
You need about 200 m3 extra compressed air for an upwards lift of 2 feet and it can be filled quickly.
15 and 16 July - miscellaneous work
According Salvors T/M Phase 2 of the operations is in two parts and will last about 2 days, during which the wreck is first anchored and held in position by anchor points fixed by tugs. Then, the second part of phase 2 is the final connections and tensioning of the chains and cables and the lowering in the final position of the starboard caissons below water.
There are 11 starboard caissons with about 20 000 m3 compressed air to finally connect, adjust and sink in position 12 meters below water. The starboard caissons were not fixed in the correct positions before liftoff due to lack of space.
17 July - refloating!
According Salvors T/M Phase 3 of the operations is the real refloating, i.e. the filling by 4 000 m3 compressed air of and the expulsion of 4 000 tons of water from the caissons step by step, deck by deck until the wreck has lifted 12 meters - four decks in the deckhouse become visible - and reached 18 meters draught.
If you fill air at 300 m3/hour, complete refloating may take 12-14 hours, i.e. the wreck rises about 1 meter/hour.
During refloating 100 000 m3 water inside the wreck deckhouse floats out into the sea.
18 July - departure
According Salvors T/M Phase 4 of the operations is that the tugs will be connected again and controls and rigging for the departure of the convoy shall start. At this stage, and for a period of about 4 hours, port traffic will be prohibited to allow the Salvors to perform the work safely.
That was the original program.
In reality the following happened (and you can watch it on webcam recordings here).
14 July the wreck was suddenly floating at 27.8 meters draught and was towed 30 meters eastward. Thus about about 47 000 m3 compressed air were in the caissons. Starboard caissons #S4-S12 were still floating with their tops in the waterline with chains attached, thus were not submerged 12 meters as suggested but partly empty providing buoyancy.
15 - 22 July the wreck was slowly refloated from 27.8 meters draught to 18 meters draught. Starboard caissons #S4-S12 were always floating with their tops in the waterline like pontoons. In order to refloat the wreck one starboard caisson #S4-S12 at a time was ballasted so it sank a little, a crane on a barge adjusted the chains of the caisson and the caisson was then deballasted ... and the wreck's draught was reduced a little. During one week another about 4 000 m3 of buoyancy was applied to the wreck. At the end all starboard caissons #S4-S12 were still floating in the waterline with their bottoms at 18 meters draught - same as the wreck's. The original plan to submerge starboard caissons #S4-S12 12 meters and then fill them with air was not used. Salvors T/M realized that it would not work or was dangerous. Thus building 9 caissons that could be submerged was a waste of time and money. They could have been replaced by one simple pontoon.
23 July the wreck was refloated at <18 meters draught and towed away.
My personal opinion is that the wreck owner, Salvors Titan/Micoperi, consultants, underwriters and supervising authorities really were incompetent and that a stupid, removal method - applying buoyancy underwater (!) directly to the wreck - was chosen 2012 preparations of which have damaged the wreck 2013 underwater so much that liftoff 2014 was risky. Why is that?
Due to above my feelings and professional opinions based on 45+ years experience in the shipping world are that wreck/scrap owner, Salvors & Co were hiding the true situation that, e.g. liftoff might be impossible and removal might be abandoned summer 2014 unless it is prevented by the authorities in the last minute. It is a sad combination of corruption, incompetence and fraud - like the Grosseto show trial of the innocent Master.
I assume any serious engineer with strong analytical skills, with an ability to think independently and with a proactive working style, with excellent team-working skills and an ability to see and analyse problems from different perspectives, who was working with the removal project since 2012, has silently left and that only fools and poor sods worried about pay remain.
I was curious to learn if my predictions would become true. In the end the Salvors changed the refloat procedure - sponsons #S4-S12 were used as simple pontoons and the wreck was refloated as suggested by me 2012. Had normal pontoons been used in the first place, the refloating would have been done much quicker and cheaper.
The Salvors have already received due recognition for "the success in avoiding any additional damage to the wreck site during the parbuckling", etc. On February 27, 2014 we were told the following:
TITAN Salvage was presented with the prestigious Maritime Casualty Response award during the Lloyd's List North American Maritime Awards ceremony and dinner, held in Houston last week. & The judges considered TITAN Salvage's actions that directly attributed to protecting the marine environment during the project, including the success in avoiding any additional damage to the wreck site during the parbuckling; the proactive steps taken to restore local flora and fauna; the partnership with the University of Rome to document the environmental, technical and engineering efforts, and more.
Also representing the salvor's company during the event was TITAN's Daniel Dolson, manager, marine operations, and Jimmy Nichols, commercial director, Americas; Crowley's Scott Craig, director, marine development and compliance; Joe Sohlberg, manager, marine compliance; Bren Wade, manager, marine compliance; Suz Michel, vice president, talent management; and Marine Response Alliance's (MRA) Samina Mahmood, manager. None of them understood or didn't care that the Costa Concordia wreck was still 30 meters below water and the efforts more than a year late. It was a free party! And the Lloyd's List judges had not studied this web page showing how the Salvors had damaged and destroyed the wreck and wreck site with various arrangements 2012-2014 on the sea floor (drilling big holes, building a 20 000 tons cement wall, etc, etc.) and that, evidently, the wreck still remains on the sea floor ... and that no actions to restore the local flora and fauna have been taken. No photos or videos of the seafloor below the wreck and the hull of the wreck itself have been made public. Why not present awards when the job is finished? It looks like becoming a fiasco.
Donney, Global Head, Marine Risk Consulting,
Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty
the Allianz centre of expertise for large corporate
and specialty insurance, thinks ahead (p. 20 of
2014): If the salvage job is very well
done and the wreck removed remain to be seen
starting June 2014. And as the ship was not
seaworthy insurance was not valid and the
total costs should be for the ship owner's account.
If Allianz was underwriting Costa
Concordia, it should not pay a cent.
Mr Tim Donney, Global Head, Marine Risk Consulting, Allianz Global Corporate & Specialty (AGCS), the Allianz centre of expertise for large corporate and specialty insurance, thinks ahead (p. 20 of Allianz Shipping Review 2014):
If the salvage job is very well done and the wreck removed remain to be seen starting June 2014. And as the ship was not seaworthy insurance was not valid and the total costs should be for the ship owner's account. If Allianz was underwriting Costa Concordia, it should not pay a cent.
"have made initial payments" of an unspecified amount on so-called hull and liability policies that are part of "our contractual obligations where an aircraft is reported as missing."
Imagine that you can insure yourself against something going missing!
Actually nobody knows where the M/S Costa Concordia wreck will be towed after liftoff, refloating and removal. A decision will be made end March 2014 (see below) and reported here. The job is evidently just 30% finished. But insurance has already paid 120%. To the ship owner. Passengers and crew have got less. And the Master has got nothing!
Photo: Anders Björkman at Isola del Giglio xxxxxxx
The M/S Costa Concordia was not seaworthy and capsized due to progressive flooding through illegal watertight doors reducing stability to zero 14 January 2012. The ship then sank due to down flooding of the hull and people drowned as there was not crew aboard to launch all lifeboats and life rafts and save the passengers as explained here.
In order to hide the fact that the ship was not seaworthy the ship owner immediately, assisted by mainstream media, accused the Master to have caused the shipwreck and killed people aboard and fired him. The Master was and is evidently innocent of any crimes associated with the alleged incidents. The guilty parties are still around. The ship never collided and never went aground.
The ship hull was first structurally damaged on the port aft side due to an accidental contact 13 January 2012. The starboard deckhouse side was later damaged, when it crashed against two rocky coral reef outreaches PF and PA of the sea floor about 150 meters apart outside Isola del Giglio due to the capsize the next day 14 January 2012. The starboard hull - side and bilge - was then damaged, when the ship sank and displaced down and away from shore on the coral reefs. Later until uprighting September 2013 the starboard deckhouse and hull were further structurally damaged due to ship motions from waves and wind. The starboard bilge structure was finally damaged due to great pressures applied to it at the uprighting. No pictures of the starboard underwater damages are available since 14 January 2012!
The wreck after capsize and sinking morning of 14 January 2012, when 32 persons drowned, was 15 September 2013 resting at 30 meters depth on two rocky coral reef outreaches PF and PA of the sea floor - see pictures above/below. The fore and aft ends and the amidships part P were not resting on anything.
Small boats and tugs could pass between the wreck and the island and a diver could dive below the sunken wreck between PF and PA and wreck's starboard bilge P - it is quite deep there:
Six platforms had reportedly been positioned outside of the wreck April-September 2013. Holes have been drilled in the rocky bottom at ~40 meters depth and the platform legs stand in the holes. Nobody knows if the platforms were correctly installed, etc. There are no underwater photos, no documentation and so on publicly available.
Two days later, 17 September 2013, the wreck had been rotated upright - parbuckled - on top of the sharp rocks at PF and PA away from shore and was, we were told, resting on the 6 newly installed platforms L1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 at 30 meters depth. There are no details how the wreck is really resting on the six platforms and on rocky PF and PA. I estimate only 15% of the wreck's flat bottom touches rocky PF and PA and the platforms. The rest is free of support ... and easy to inspect.
How the upright wreck rests in contact with the sea floor and platforms is not clear. I would expect areas PF and PA to be compressed, buckled, fractured, ripped apart due to the parbuckling and that further fractures will develop when wind and waves move the wreck, making the whole wreck unsafe and maybe unsuitable for refloating. The efficiency of platforms L1-6 is also uncertain. Maybe the wreck only rests on one or two platforms. We do not know! Or maybe one or two platforms collapsed due to being loaded and damaged the wreck above? It would be nice to see underwater photos showing areas PF and PA and the upright wreck on the platforms.
But there are no such photos!
We are also told that following the up righting at 30 meters depth, the wreck was surveyed to assess its overall condition, particularly the starboard side, which was previously submerged and inaccessible (sic).
Following this assessment, the engineers determined the structural repairs required to be done underwater ahead of the installation of the 15 sponsons on the starboard (inshore) side. The wreck hull was evidently damaged in the side, bilge and bottom at PF and PA during parbuckling and must be repaired underwater before refloating. It is also possible that the hull bottom is damaged in contact with the platforms.
But no specifications of any underwater repairs have been made public!
We are told that the following world's top technical engineering experts are used to establish the repairs to be done underwater, etc: Ceccarelli Yacht Design, Studio Tecon of Milan, Spline of Venice, Overdick of Hamburg and the Dutch underwater solutions provider Disa International. There have also been contributions from consultants such as RINA (Italian Shipping Register), D'Appolonia and Rome's Università La Sapienza. If something goes wrong all these experts can blame each other.
There are thus no underwater pictures showing that the wreck's port bottom is really resting on all six platforms, i.e. all platforms were perfectly positioned. No underwater pictures of the hull, particularly the starboard bilge before and after up righting and no underwater repair specifications are available.
Why this secrecy?
What has really happened below water at areas PF and PA and around the wreck of M/S Costa Concordia?
Why do not media ask serious questions?
Refloating of the up righted wreck using external buoyancy tanks, sponsons, at draught 18 (or 8 LOL) meters is planned for June 2014!
The big questions 2014 were evidently - Can the damaged wreck resting on the bottom at 30 meters depth outside Isola del Giglio really be refloated after being repaired under water? And where to tow it? And where to scrap it? And how to scrap it? It is still 18 meters below water.
Friday 10th January, 2014, at 11.00 am at the office of the Civil Protection headquarters in Rome, Italy, a press conference to present the next steps of the removal of M/S Costa Concordia wreck took place. Speakers, all Italian, at the conference were:
Andrea Orlando, Minister of the Environment, Franco Gabrielli, Deputy Commissioner of the Italian Government handling the emergency of M/S Costa Concordia, Michael Thamm, CEO , Costa Cruises and Franco Porcellacchia, Project Manager removal of the wreck, Costa Cruises.
Any journalist attending had been kindly requested to study below and above info about the removal and to ask intelligent questions, e.g. can the damaged up righted wreck really be refloated without breaking into three parts?, what are the Salvors really doing below water just now?, why not fit the missing caissons right now? and is the bow really secure?
If you then Google for "latest costa concordia salvage news 2014" you'll find:
18. Costa Concordia Could Be Towed To A British Port - Decision end March 2014
"We will start fitting in the systems and equipment that are needed to enable us to remove the ship from mid-April. It is a very complicated operation."
"We are very confident that we can remove this ship within the month of June. This is not very far away - and then a great job will be done. The company would maintain ownership of the vessel "until the very last moment", until the wreck is demolished later this year. The full cost of the completed salvage operation is expected to reach around ¬600m (£497m)".
"A decision on the final destination of the Costa Concordia would be made by the end of March."
So end of March we were supposed to know where the wreck will be towed. But was it March 2014 or 2015?
The normal lies were repeated by ship owner and authorities at the press conference:
"... just days before the second anniversary of the ship's Jan. 13, 2012, grounding (sic) that killed 32 people."
Evidently M/S Costa Concordia did not run aground killing people and nobody died Jan. 13, 2012. The not seaworthy ship capsized Jan. 14, 2012, due to illegal watertight doors and 26 passengers and 6 crew aboard died as crew was missing to escort them from non-existing muster stations to the lifeboats as explained here.
No journalist asked the questions above suggested by me.
And no journalist asked if there really is a port in the world that can receive the wreck with sponsons with draught 18 meters, breadth 55 meters to recycle it.
On 13 January 2014 the Daily Mail informed that proposals for the demolition/scrapping after refloating and towage is expected to take another 200 people two years to complete and that the estimated value of the demolition contract is more than ¬ 300 million. No details though how to scrap a ship underwater. Normally you sell ships for scrap and earn money. Here it seems the ship owner has to pay for scrapping and lose money. Or the insurance money? Re-sinking, on the other hand, does not cost anything.
On 15 February 2014 Repubblica reported that the wreck would be scrapped in Italy! But as there is no Italian scrap yard ready to do it, it seems the refloated wreck will just be parked ... underwater ... somewhere, etc, etc.
So the Costa show just went on. At any cost! It got sillier and sillier.
Let's return to the situation prior up righting (sponson #P13 not yet fitted) with the structurally damaged wreck resting on the sea floor at the rocks of PF and PA:
The Forward starboard part/bilge of the wreck (deckhouse, superstructure, hull) was just resting on one shallow granite, coral reef outreach PF and the Aft part/bilge (deckhouse, superstructure, hull) on another shallow granite, coral reef outreach PA. The ends of the ship rested on nothing.
The amidships part P was also not resting on the sea floor below. The depth of water between the side of the wreck and seafloor at the amidships part P was maybe 6-16 meters. Underwater examination would probably confirm that the starboard stabilizer fin was still extended and intact! The stabilizer fin was apparently removed 28 meters underwater April 2014!
It means that the forward and aft hull, superstructure and deckhouse starboard side/bilge/bottom at PF and PA were contact damaged during and after the capsize, when the ship was sinking and sliding down on the rocks of the sloping sea floor away from shore, while the middle 0.4L side part was undamaged but details are uncertain as no underwater survey reports are available. A diver could swim below the wreck at P. There was no support of the wreck at P.
No underwater pictures of the hull were made available 2012 or the results of a detailed underwater survey of the wreck hull were not made available to the public 2012 or later. The condition of the starboard side, bilge and bottom structure is of course interesting.
The uprighting of M/S Costa Concordia by parbuckling, described in detail below, started early 16 September 2013 at Isola del Giglio with 100's of media persons looking on and having a good time. Giglio Porto is a nice place. By applying external pull forces of total >7 000 tons on the top and bottom of the wreck midlength part i.w.o. tanks #P6-#P11 and aft, it was suggested that the wreck would slowly roll around its starboard bilge in contact at rocky PF and PA at 30 meters depth from resting on the damaged side at ~65° heel to starboard to a vertical upright position 0° heel still resting on the two rock outreaches PF and PA at starboard side and on six platforms installed on the sea floor on port side. The platforms also prevented the wreck from rolling further to port ... and to disappear completely.
When the wreck had rotated a few degrees upwards (at 10.00 hrs) great noise was heard and the wreck displaced down one meter ... the wreck's starboard bilge/hull internal and external structure, external hull plates, internal brackets, floors, girders, stiffeners, longitudinals and frames at PF and PA were compressed, fractured and ripped apart due to a ~50 000 tons force being applied to the bilge/hull in hard contact with the rocks ... and the removal attempt was arrested for a while. And then the parbuckling started again. In order to reduce the force at PF and PA extra support in form of grouting/cement mattresses had been put at wreck's starboard bilge P.
The wreck didn't fracture completely at PF and PA and the ends did not drop off that I had feared.
During the evening (after sunset), after having been slowly up righted ~20° to ~45° heel for several hours, the wreck quickly up righted (0° heel) itself by gravity. The wreck's flat bottom then allegedly landed on the six platforms L1-6 fitted on port side at 30 meters depth! Maybe the platforms and wreck's bottom structure were also damaged or pressed down/up, as the wreck was leaning ~2° to port, away from shore, after uprighting. No outsiders really know any details of what happened to the wreck's hull under water.
View from space of Costa Concordia after parbuckling
Only the wheel house and four top decks of the deckhouse could then be seen! The now, further damaged hull was still 70-80% below water resting at 30 meters depth on some platforms at midlength installed on the sea floor of wreck's port side and on grouting bags at P and granite rocks at PF and PA on wreck's starboard side. Wave forces could lift it up and push it away.
Uprighting worked. All port sponson tanks except two were fully were submerged. So far so good.
the starboard bilge and flat bottom hull
internal structure hidden underwater at
severely damaged in the process. If the
further damaged wreck's hull is strong enough to be
refloated and towed away remains to be determined.
But the starboard bilge and flat bottom hull internal structure hidden underwater at PF and PA were severely damaged in the process.
If the further damaged wreck's hull is strong enough to be refloated and towed away remains to be determined.
Media people generally do not know much about ship structures, ship removal and ship safety at sea. Prove me wrong and collect ¬1M!
Underwater inspection of the damaged hull structure started immediately and should have taken a couple of days but the result was not made known. No explanations were given so you have to assume that the hull bilge and flat bottom were further damaged at PF and PA and platforms L1-6.
It is a fact that no underwater examination and survey of the wreck was made public and a report issued to establish the condition of the wreck after capsize 14 January 2012 and sliding down on the rocky sea floor, e.g. if it was worthwhile to remove the wreck at all. And now it seems that no underwater examination and survey of the up righted wreck has been made public to establish the condition of the wreck after parbuckling, e.g. to compare the hull condition before/after parbuckling and if it is possible to attach buoyancy tanks on the starboard side and to refloat the wreck at all, etc. Why this secrecy? It is very easy to do underwater inspections of ships' hulls. I have done it many times.
It would have
been easy to install cameras underwater, so you
could have followed developments there in real time
before, during and after parbuckling, e.g. the
crushing of the hull at
Apart from providing useful information, it would
have been spectacular footage in any documentary of
the complete project.
It would have been easy to install cameras underwater, so you could have followed developments there in real time before, during and after parbuckling, e.g. the crushing of the hull at PF and PA. Apart from providing useful information, it would have been spectacular footage in any documentary of the complete project.
The big part of the upright wreck forward of PF, i.e. the bow is now resting on nothing on the sea floor below it. Depth is too deep and no platform could be put there. Instead a blister buoyancy tank (see below) was fitted around the quite heavy fore ship prior up righting/parbuckling to keep the bow in place and prevent it from dropping off.
It would appear that after uprighting the big, ~8 000 tons heavy bow part connected to the 6 000 m3 blister buoyancy tank 18-30 meters below surface is flipping up/down/right/left due to surface wave motions and is not really securely connected to the rest of the wreck due to structural failures in the bottom, bilge and side at PF. Thus it is possible that cracks and fractures in the structure develop further and the whole fore ship simply drops off and rolls forward during the upcoming winter.
The Salvors seem to have noticed the fore ship up/down flipping forward of PF and have therefore decided 7 October 2013 to the positioning of an additional hold-back system to avoid movements of the bow, whatever that means except that the bow moves. And on 11 November 2013 we were told that the hold back system would be in place end November 2013. If it works is another matter.
Anyway, the fore ship flipping will further delay serious, or whatever, salvage work of the 499+ brave workers of 21 nationalities working 24/24 & 7/7 we are told. Media will never tell you this bad but interesting news. Media just trumpet the usual ship owner propaganda show paid for by re-insurance that parbuckling/uprighting by the 499+ clever beach comber Salvors was a success and that the environment is safe ... and all is the fault of the Master.
Imagine that 499+ salvage workers are positioning an additional hold-back system to avoid movements of the bow of the wreck and that media do not report any details.
This is the first time in history as far as I am concerned that a salvage company is trying to fix/repair/reinforce a damaged wreck 30 meters underwater after uprighting and before refloating. And are really 499+ salvage workers active? Real action seemed very slow November 2013 - only one or two crane barges were seen working - and that can only keep say 100 workers/divers busy.
Note that nobody died on 13 January and that vessel probably also damaged the starboard side when capsizing 14 January.
The wreck's starboard side however still 15 September 2013 rested on two rocky outreaches PF and PA at 15-30 meters depth while the 0.4L amidships area down the starboard bilge P and the 0.15L ends were free and resting on nothing and that's where you should have put your cradles. The bulkhead deck is 14.2 meters above keel. To get the heeling wreck off the sloping, rocky seabed, it must be lifted vertically a certain distance so that the wreck can be moved to an area with a flat, horizontal, uniform seabed with depth say ~20 meters, where it can be pulled upright by simple means without applying too great forces on the hull. The same pontoons/cradles can then be used to move the upright ship to an area with less depth (<12 meters). With the bulkhead deck above water you can then pump dry intact, watertight hull compartments that were down flooded after capsize causing the sinking, while maintaining ship stable, when it starts to float. You only have to pump out 45.000 tons of water and the wreck floats. The presence of 25 illegal, watertight doors in the 16 watertight bulkheads, even if they can be closed by divers below water, makes the task complicated. It is evidently another reason why watertight doors are not permitted to be fitted in hull bulkheads in the first place.
The cost may also become prohibitive, when the underwriters refuse the claim due to lack of diligence of the ship owner and unseaworthiness of the ship causing the sinking killing people in the first place.
The owner of the wreck, Costa
Crociere, thus invited companies that were thought
to be capable of performing the salvage/removal
work, i.e. removing the intact wreck
in the shortest period of time while also
ensuring maximum safety and minimum environmental
impact. It seems no above water and
underwater condition survey of the hull,
superstructure and deckhouse was done
and reported to facilitate for the companies and
underwriters to evaluate the situation. The salvage companies invited
included Donjon Marine, Fukada Salvage & Marine
Works, Mammoet Salvage, Nippon Salvage, Resolve
Marine, Smit, Svitzer, T&T Marine,
Titan/Micoperi and Tito Neri. Proposals had to be
submitted by the beginning of March 2012 because a
contract was to be awarded within the month.
salvage operation, no scrapping in situ but
complete removal incl. any form of prevention,
mitigation or elimination of the hazards created by
a wreck, was estimated by the experts
(sic) to take up to
10 months and cost $300 million. 26
months and $600 million later (March 2014) the
wreck was still underwater - only up
The owner of the wreck, Costa Crociere, thus invited companies that were thought to be capable of performing the salvage/removal work, i.e. removing the intact wreck in the shortest period of time while also ensuring maximum safety and minimum environmental impact.
It seems no above water and underwater condition survey of the hull, superstructure and deckhouse was done and reported to facilitate for the companies and underwriters to evaluate the situation.
The salvage companies invited included Donjon Marine, Fukada Salvage & Marine Works, Mammoet Salvage, Nippon Salvage, Resolve Marine, Smit, Svitzer, T&T Marine, Titan/Micoperi and Tito Neri. Proposals had to be submitted by the beginning of March 2012 because a contract was to be awarded within the month.
The complete salvage operation, no scrapping in situ but complete removal incl. any form of prevention, mitigation or elimination of the hazards created by a wreck, was estimated by the experts (sic) to take up to 10 months and cost $300 million. 26 months and $600 million later (March 2014) the wreck was still underwater - only up right.
Rolled? On two rocky outcrops PF and PA on a sloping sea floor?
spokesman for Giglio council, said: Franco Gabrielli, Italy's
Civil Protection Chief, who is in charge of the
commission dealing with the disaster, said:
The Italo-American consortium
and 438 persons of 19 nationalities were supposed
to refloat the water filled Costa
Concordia May 2012 - May 2013 at a
cost of $300M, so it could be towed away - still
full of water! *The evaluation team
consisted only of representatives from
ship/wreck owner of the not seaworthy M/S
Costa Concordia Costa Crociere itself,
Carnival Corporation & plc (owners of
Costa Crociere), London Offshore
Consultants and Standard P&I Club
(associated with the ship owner), with the
of RINA and Fincantieri.
No serious, professional outsiders
were asked to assist. It was the
reason why the removal became at least
three times more expensive as agreed
before it fails completely 2014. Why
proven conventional removal methods were
not used is not clear.
Cristiano Pellegrini, spokesman for Giglio council, said:
Franco Gabrielli, Italy's Civil Protection Chief, who is in charge of the commission dealing with the disaster, said:
The Italo-American consortium Titan-Micoperi and 438 persons of 19 nationalities were supposed to refloat the water filled Costa Concordia May 2012 - May 2013 at a cost of $300M, so it could be towed away - still full of water!
*The evaluation team consisted only of representatives from ship/wreck owner of the not seaworthy M/S Costa Concordia Costa Crociere itself, Carnival Corporation & plc (owners of Costa Crociere), London Offshore Consultants and Standard P&I Club (associated with the ship owner), with the collaboration (sic) of RINA and Fincantieri. No serious, professional outsiders were asked to assist. It was the reason why the removal became at least three times more expensive as agreed before it fails completely 2014. Why proven conventional removal methods were not used is not clear.
On 18 May, 2012 the selected Salvors explained:
"Operations will be divided into four basic stages:
Smit apparently later, after its bid had not been accepted, said it was not possible to salvage the wreck and that the only solution was to scrap the wreck in situ.
Why was it necessary "treating and purifying the water to protect the marine environment" that had been flooded into the caissons? A layman would evidently just fill the caissons with air to provide buoyancy and allow the water to be pushed out. No reason to treat and purify that water. You should wonder what clowns had written the above four explanations.
Later the operations were completely changed. Six platforms were installed on the sea floor. 20 000 tons of cement bags - grouting - were positioned below wreck's port bilge P. No cranes were fixed to the platforms but winches were fitted on/close to shore. Pull steel wires were fitted between wreck/caissons and winches via steel pulley blocks fitted on the platforms. And "caissons will also be fixed to the other side of the hull" was planned for April, 2013 (that work started a year later, April, 2014). Interestingly enough the known hull damages port side were not going to be repaired watertight prior up-righting and no reinforcements of starboard side at PF and PA of the bilge to be under great pressure during the up-righting were going to be fitted.
To accommodate the salvage staff and divers a platform was chartered for 6 months:
"The 60 double cabins in the platform will provide accommodation for the team of divers who will work day and night to complete work on schedule."
You get the impression that the work would be finished quite fast. But on 18 November, 2013, the platform disappeared from Isola del Giglio. And the work had not been completed on schedule. Far from it as described below.
Each tank provides about 2 160 m3 volume. Tanks #P3 and #P13 may have similar volume like #P1, #P2 and #P14 and #P15. Salvors will thus add ~32 400 m3 buoyancy to the port side (and 5 700 tons of steel), which should be sufficient to refloat the wreck at 18 meters draught, when the same amount of buoyancy is provided on the starboard side.
The tanks are quite heavy:
A total of 30 steel caissons, with combined weight of approximately 11,500 tonnes, will be built in different Fincantieri shipyards,
we are told. I could probably have designed much lighter sponsons: total weight 7 500 tons, but who cares about an extra 4.000 tons of steel?
It would probably also have been simpler and cheaper combining #P4-6 to one tank, #P7-9 to another tank and #P10-12 to a third tank but then work would go faster ... so it was not a good idea. Weight limitations?
Two forward tanks, #P1 and #P2, will one way or another be attached above the shaped fore ship with a 'blister' below after up righting. The 'blister', two steel tanks bolted together will be attached like a collar below the bow prior parbuckling starts, while #P1 and #P2 will be fitted underwater on the port side later like #P14 and #P15 at the stern after parbuckling is complete. Again you wonder why the tanks could not be combined.
If the port side structural hull damages will be sealed watertight was not clear. In the end it was not done.
Most, >95%, of the extra buoyancy provided by the sponson caisson tanks is located between the wreck's flat bottom and 18 meters up the side in order to enable the wreck to be refloated at 18 meters draught after uprighting or parbuckling. Why 18 meters draught was chosen is not clear. At that draught, 18 meters, the complete hull and superstructure and half the deckhouse are still submerged.
Third, the 45.000 (or 51 000) tons wreck (now incl. 11 outside port sponson tanks and the 'blister' below the bow) with mass m but without funnel will be parbuckled, actually rolled, upright around PF, P and PA at 30 meters depth onto the subsea platforms - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3r7GDXFF54.
The definition of parbuckling is:
1. A rope sling for rolling cylindrical objects up or down an inclined plane.
2. A sling for raising or lowering an object vertically.
tr.v. par·buck·led, par·buck·ling, par·buck·les
To raise or lower with such a sling.
In this case the parbuckling pull force of the order 7 000 tons applied by wires to the top of the sponsons running below the submerged starboard bilge at P via pulley blocks fitted on the platforms will displace the wreck's mass m from one side to the other of contact areas PF, P and PA, where the wreck's starboard bilge contacts the false, grout bag sea floor or coral reef and the wreck will roll outwards down the sloping sea floor ... onto the platforms.
Contact areas PF, P and PA are where the extreme starboard bilge contacts the grouting bags or the granite coral reefs over say 80-150 meter or 30-50% of the ship's length or 0.3-0.5L and where great reaction force F is applied to the weak wreck structure during parbuckling. Probably more force is applied at PF and PA as these areas are more solid.
It seems that none of the alleged professionals involved in the project - Franco Porcellacchia, Alessandro Vettori, Gabriele Bartoli, Giampaolo Marino, Sergio Girotto, Carlo Femiani, Giovanni Ceccarelli, Guy Wood, Nicholas Sloane and Alvaro Guidotti - has ever done a parbuckling before and there is no evidence that the method works keeping the vessel intact.
According them and the Salvors it is however easy to parbuckle a ~45 000 tons wreck and the risk is known:
"The Concordia wreck removal is a unique and extremely complex technical-engineering operation, a naval salvage operation like no other in history, involving the best international expertise and advanced technologies. Activities continue with about 500 workers and 30 vessels at work 24/7. Environmental protection is a priority in the removal operations."
Nicholas Sloane, Senior Salvage Master at Titan Micoperi:
"When you parbuckle, she is a very large vessel, you're putting a lot of force into the structure itself, so you will expect some of the minor (sic) structural elements to collapse. It's like a house where you have a wooden doorframe that will break but the walls should survive. ... there will be a lot of deformation to her. & Yes the risk is there, but we think we know the risk and we're confident that this is going to happen."
Nicholas Sloane, 12 August 2013:
"When we raise (Costa Concordia) you will hear the noise from the wrenching and of the fracture of internal sections but we hope (!) that the external (sic) structure remains intact."
Actually parbuckling is not a conventional salvage method and has not been frequently used. The very great reaction forces applied at PF and PA, while rotating the wreck, will fracture the bottom structure unless you reinforce and/or protect the areas. If not the ends may simply drop off, when you refloat the wreck.
When rotating the wreck the centre of gravity of wreck mass m is evidently displaced upwards "extremely delicately" and then tipped outwards of PF, P and PA by pull cables/wires (marked red on 2-D picture below) attached to the port outside shell and port sponson tanks and carried below the wreck's bottom/starboard side direct and/or via the steel platform.
Such an extremely delicate removal operation has never been performed before - rotating a damaged wreck over two rocky granite reefs PF and PA to land on some underwater platforms - and it is strange how lightly media report the strange innovation and associated risks.
It would appear you must rotate the wreck only ~20° to about 45° heel and then m passes above PF, P and PA and then the pull wires become slack. Apparently some starboard side wires attached to turrets (?) shall then stop the outward rotation to soften the landing on the platforms.
It seems the coral reef at PF and PA will also be crushed (if not already destroyed).
"What happens if the critical area along the edge where the ship is rotated breaks apart? ",
wondered Der Spiegel September 2012. That was a very good question!
"No one can say with absolute certainty that it will work."
It would appear that the forward part of the wreck or the whole wreck had September 2013 sunk down an extra ~3 meters below water since capsize and sinking 14 January 2012:
It is due to the fact that the complete starboard side and adjacent decks in hull, superstructure and deckhouse in contact with the sea floor granite reefs underwater at PF and PA were severely damaged by wave movements of and forces acting on the wreck side structure during a year and half and pushed it upwards a couple of meters, while the wreck has also displaced or slipped away from shore into deeper water. In another ten, twenty years the wreck would simply disappear by itself due to wave forces grinding it apart.
Evidently the deckhouse is very weak - 5-6 mm plates in sides and decks, very light stiffeners, plenty of openings/windows and easily deformed in contact with the sea floor - but the hull side is not very much stronger - 10 mm plats, a little stronger stiffeners. The part forward of PF has also dropped down. There is nothing to support it below.
The Italian Civil Protection Department has set up competence centers and other research institutes to establish and coordinate a system of real-time monitoring for Early Warning. The data verifies the conditions for safe operation and evaluates the movements of the wreck of Costa Concordia. The data and evaluations are shared with a Technical Committee. This data will be useful to establish how much the wreck has moved and what structural damages you can expect and if removal by refloating is possible. Unfortunately no such data has been made publically available ... and you wonder why.
Before capsize 13 January 2012 the forward starboard bilge was touching ground at ~7 meters draught and the aft starboard bilge was touching ground at ~11 meters draught. There was no grounding. The vessel's flat bottom was not stuck on the sea floor. Then 14 January 2012 the floating, not grounded, ship capsized 90° and the forward starboard deckhouse top side PF crushed against the granite ground/coral reef at <7 meters draught and the aft deckhouse top side PA crushed against the granite ground/coral reef at <11 meters draught and the side was pushed in and ripped open. This is quite clear from the http://video.repubblica.it/dossier/naufragio-giglio-costa-concordia/la-fuga-dalla-concordia-il-video-a-infrarossi/85900?video - the top deck of the 90° capsized, still floating high ship is only ~30 meters from shore and the trim on stern is of the order six meters, while about 300 persons are walking on the ship's side.
Costa Concordia floating after capsize very close to shore but before sinking 14 January 2012 due to down flooding. At this time starboard deckhouse top side had been locally crushed forward and aft. Later the lower part and the hull bilge and bottom were further damaged when ship displaced say six meters down and 30-40 meters away from shore on the rocks on the sloping sea floor, while sinking
Then all hull compartments were down flooded, sinking started and the parts of side of the ship from bilge to top deck touched the rocky ground forward at PF and aft at PA at ~65° list. The intermediate part above P was not touching anything.
Side at PF from bilge to top of deckhouse was pushed in >3 meters, slightly less at PA. The flat bottom was buckled, where vertical side was pushed in.
Then the listing wreck was sliding another six meters down and 30-40 meters away from the shore on the sea floor further damaging and pushing in the starboard side structure from bilge to top deck also cracking the bilge and flat bottom structure at PF and PA. This local structural destruction and displacement on the rocks actually slowed down the wreck that otherwise would have continued to slide away from shore to disappear completely below water. Attending boats around the wreck could have been swept aside and damaged, if that had happened.
So the sunken wreck came to a halt at 65° heel and 70% submerged at 03.00 hrs or later January 14, 2012. The cheap cruise on the not seaworthy ship was over. You get what you pay for.
More damages to the wreck side structure have evidently taken place between 14 January 2012 and mid-September 2013 due to wave action and wreck movements rubbing against the rocks.
Only fools believed that the M/S Costa Concordia was undamaged under water on the starboard side and in the bottom after capsizing and sliding away on the sea floor 14 January, 2012.
When the wreck was up righted 17 September, 2013, we could see below of the starboard side:
The forward not very strong deckhouse side at PF was severely crushed or pushed in and upwards in contact with the rocky bottom and the whole forward part right of PF appears to be dropping down as there is no support below (except the blister tanks). The aft deckhouse side at PA was also seen crushed/pushed in due contact with the sea floor and the aft part left of PA also seems to be dropping down.
The intermediate P area was straight, undamaged and not crushed at all, i.e. it never touched the rocky sea floor. A diver could have swum below the wreck there before and after parbuckling.
The structural side damages continue down to the hull and the bilge, which were pushed in also buckling the flat bottom. During parbuckling the already damaged bilge/flat bottom areas at PF and PA were then further deformed and the flat bottom structure is now fractured.
Apparently the whole fore ship is rotated to port relative the amidships part due to these structural failures.
Underwater examination is therefore required to establish the actual condition of the hull and superstructure/deckhouse side at PF and PA below water. Attaching, e.g. 15 sponson tanks to this damaged side for later refloating, may be ... difficult. And there are simpler, better, less expensive, faster solutions to proceed (see below).
Let's have a look at the areas PF, P and PA around which the wreck were parbuckled. Were they really strong enough?
It would appear that most of the critical parbuckling area P is located between the shallow granite, south coral reef outreach of the bow PF and the shallow granite, north coral reef outreach of the stern PA, i.e. there is just deep water there and nothing to support the bilge. Wires/chain can be pulled below the wreck here and just be in touch with the wreck's thin plate bilge structure. So maybe the starboard side is damaged only in way of the coral reef outreaches PF and PA and intact in between.
It is suggested that an estimated 14 000 or 20 000 tons (!) of cement sourced from Italian cement manufacturer Italcementi has been used to fill the void between wreck's bilge P/the steel platforms at 30 meters depth and the sea floor at ~35-40 meters depth (or more?) in the form of grout bags and mattresses with an additional 900 tonnes for the platform pile grouting phase whatever that means.
The cement mattresses or bags fill the 10-15 meters wide and 6-16 (?) meters deep wedge over 100-150 meters between bilge (>6.000 m3) platforms and north and south coral reefs - to level the bottom to 30 meters depth. The grout bags, each of which weighs up to 70 tons and volume 25 m3, are designed to be lifted back out of the sea, when the removal operation is complete. They will then be taken ashore for processing and recycling, we are told.
The bags were apparently brought down empty by 200+ divers at >30 meters depth and were then filled up with cement from supply ships on the surface via a hose to make a support below bilge P at 30 meters depth. This work was still going on August 2013. Any corals below these bags must be crushed by now. If 1 300 bags have been used maybe 100 000 tons of cement has been put on the sea floor! Salvage group Titan/Micoperi says they protect the environment but fact is that they have built a 20 000 or 100 000 tons cement embankment at >30 meters depth below the wreck! The islanders do not really understand this. Supply ships have visited the wreck 100's of times with plenty of cement pumped overboard each trip.
In the end 24 000 tons of cement in bags were used. When the wreck was parbuckled cement bags with at least 5 000 tons of cement were broken by the bilge pressure and the cement spread all over the coral reefs. It is one reason why there are no pictures taken of the wreck underwater being published by the Salvors. In spite of all assurances to the contrary the environment and also the wreck itself were seriously damaged due to the parbuckling.
The majority of the sponson tanks are fitted around L/2 or amidships of the wreck, which at present is only supported by the grout bags at the bilge - the famous P area. The wreck's 0.4L side at amidships is not supported by anything. If these sponson tanks above waterline are filled with water to assist the parbuckling, they will add to the mass of the wreck. The wreck has little buoyancy at amidships, so the extra water will increase the pressure applied by the wreck on the sea floor at the rocky areas PF and PA and the wreck will really sag between the fwd/aft supports by the reef outreaches before parbuckling even starts. The deckhouse provides little strength.
The hull is already damaged on the port aft side due to the contact and on the starboard fwd/aft side at PF and PA due to the capsize, so one possibility is that the wreck or its hull is fractured in three parts - bow, amidships and stern, when parbuckling starts.
No ship is built to be parbuckled and any ship's structure is quite delicate just designed to handle static cargo and buoyancy and dynamic wave loads and not contact point loads from granite sea floors at PF and PA.
Cargo ships have more robust bottom structures i.w.o. their cargo holds and weigh less, i.e. the loads are less on them, when grounding and they are easier to salvage after removing all heavy cargo, etc.
The 'cargo' of a passenger ship is evidently, apart from passengers, the deckhouse (weight 30 000 tons on Costa Concordia), which is still there putting pressure on the seabed. If part of the deckhouse had been removed in situ by the Salvors, the pressure on the bottom had been reduced, the weight of the wreck had been reduced and less sponson buoyancy tanks needed to refloat the wreck, etc.
The reaction forces at PF and PA will crack the flat bottom plate structure.
If the damaged wreck hull is strong enough to be refloated and towed away remains to be determined.
Not until 12 July 2013 Costa Crociere was in the process of completing the technical documentation that was supposed to be delivered to allow the authorities to evaluate the parbuckling project - the rotation of the wreck to a vertical position - and give their approval for the operations to take place in the month of September.
Costa added that:
"once the parbuckling is completed, it will be essential to assess the conditions of the wreck and evaluate any technical adjustments required, particularly on the submerged starboard side which is currently inaccessible in that it rests upon two cliffs of rocks".
We do not know what documentation Costa delivered mid July and to what authority. It must have included pictures and videos of the damaged underwater hull and calculations of forces applied to the hull while parbuckling rotating big mass m ~20° up above a support at PF, P and PA consisting of granite rocks and cement mattresses and what structural damages of the wreck you could expect.
On 17 August 2013 the parbuckling was scheduled for 4-9 September, 2013, weather permitting, i.e. just 5 months after the date (May 2013) the whole project would have been completed according original plans. Later the date was changed again. The attempt was done 16 September (see below).
We know that responsible people do not know the forces involved and the structural damages on the starboard side and what the forces will do to the structure at PF and PA:
Nicholas Sloane (15 September 2013) :
"We are not sure about the actual weight and how much the rocks are going to hold onto her. So that is a critical point as when we start up we will watch all the accelerometers and we want to increase the tension very slowly until she comes off the rocks".
Actually when the side comes off the rocks, all weight is carried by the bilge in touch with the rocks at PF and PA and the grout bags. Below is photo of the ship ready to be parbuckled. We are told that it will take only 12 hrs to parbuckle the wreck upright according Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy's civil protection agency. We are not told how long it will take to parbuckle the ship ~20/30° upwards, when centre of gravity of big mass m arrives above support at PF, P and PA, when wreck will upright by itself. The upright wreck will then be submerged 30 meters, i.e. you will just see the top five decks of the deckhouse. As the platforms are located at 30 meters depth, it is indicated that upright wreck will be lifted (?) onto the platforms. All sounds very confusing as usual. Shouldn't the wreck's flat bottom land on the platforms?
It would appear that the fore ship flips up/down after uprighting, i.e. it is loose due to structural failures aft of #P3 sponson.
It seems the experts Franco Gabrielli, Maria Sargentini, Franco Porcellacchia, Sergio Girotto and Nick Sloane have all agreed/announced that the attempt to upright was going to take place after 15 September, 2013.
"The last thing to complete is the check list of preparatory parbuckling activities that the consortium of companies has informed us on September 15. Therefore, from that moment it will be possible straightening. But it will require favorable weather conditions so we imagined that from 15 September onwards, within 14 hours of the previous day, we will know if the next day the parbuckling operation can be performed."
So a check list was still under preparation. And all depended on the weather, we were told.
Weather? If you have studied all above you know for certain that weather or wave forces will not affect the great forces applied to the damaged wreck, when parbuckling rotation begins.
Anyway, the uprighting worked, destroying the wreck's starboard bilge/bottom at PF and PA, and the incompetent wreck owner of the unseaworthy ship represented by Michael Thamm decided to enter the show on Wednesday, September 18, 2013, with the following flopping announcement:
Thank you also to all men and women of
Costa Crociere S.p.A. working with energy and
dedication every day. Thank you also to the institutions,
authorities and our partners for their valuable
assistance. And thank you in particular to the
Department of Civil Protection in Italy for
their trust and support. Also special thanks to the Mayor of Isola
del Giglio and his generous and patient people.
You have all given a lot more than you
should. And we, Costa Crociere S.p.A., will
continue to do everything possible to ensure
that present and future cruises of Costa
Crociere S.p.A. are always better, safer and
happier. Michael Thamm Chief Executive Officer Costa Crociere S.p.A."
Thank you also to all men and women of Costa Crociere S.p.A. working with energy and dedication every day.
Thank you also to the institutions, authorities and our partners for their valuable assistance.
And thank you in particular to the Department of Civil Protection in Italy for their trust and support.
Also special thanks to the Mayor of Isola del Giglio and his generous and patient people. You have all given a lot more than you should.
And we, Costa Crociere S.p.A., will continue to do everything possible to ensure that present and future cruises of Costa Crociere S.p.A. are always better, safer and happier.
Chief Executive Officer
Costa Crociere S.p.A."
Media thought that Costa Concordia was successfully lifted (?) but in fact only the visible port hull, superstructure and deckhouse side disappeared below water, while a little of the submerged, severely damaged top starboard deckhouse side became visible on 16 September, 2016, after parbuckling. Nothing was lifted anywhere. The wreck hull was also further destroyed below water. You now see less of the wreck than before! The only difference from before is that now the port flat hull bottom is grinding against the rocks due to wave forces and the flat bottom structure is destroyed.
If any lifting of the wreck will take place, it will be earliest July 2014.
Same media repeated all previous lies that the Master got people killed 13 January, 2012 and that nothing of interest happened 14 January, 2012. It is quite sad that media cannot report past and present correctly and that safety at sea has not improved since January 2012. Rather the opposite.
The ship owner has not made available any wreck underwater condition report after capsize 2012 and prior parbuckling September 2013 for interested parties to study. You would expect that the complete wreck underwater - hull, incl. flat bottom and starboard bilge, superstructure and deckhouse - was filmed to enable underwriters and Salvors to judge, if removal was really possible. Probably such films would show that lifesaving appliances were still in place at the starboard embarkation deck, etc, etc.
Even more surprising is that no underwater condition report of the hull, incl. flat bottom and starboard bilge at PF and PA after parbuckling is available so you can see the damages to the starboard bilge and flat bottom structure at PF and PA due to the great forces applied there during rotation up right. Also of interest is the condition of the chains used, as the chains were apparently crushed between the platforms and the wreck's flat bottom, when wreck landed on the platforms. Such a report is evidently required to establish, if the wreck actually landed on the platforms and can be refloated. 85% of the flat hull bottom is easy to watch as it is not in touch with anything.
Crack inspection and continuous monitoring of the bottom structure in way of frames 116-208 PS apparently started Wednesday Jan 1, 2014 and was planned to be completed Tuesday June 24, 2014 after 174 days of close up inspections. End March 2014 only 30% of the job was done.
You can therefore conclude that Salvors have not really inspected the underwater hull for cracks.
It seems I was not wrong re the parbuckling.
The wreck was up righted but apparently with a small 1 meter trim on the bow and actually leaning to port 1-2°, but the wreck starboard hull bilge/bottom at PF and PA was further damaged in the process! Luckily the aft end didn't fall off, the big forward end didn't fall off either, the mid part didn't sink but the wreck landed with its port flat bottom on the six steel platforms on 17 September, 2013. It seems the platforms on port side were located a little deeper than the starboard contact areas resulting in the upright wreck leaning a little away from shore. It seems the upright wreck also trims a little on the bow, i.e. the bow is deeper in the water than the stern.
Media hailed the mostly beach comber Salvors as brave and noble heroes but forgot to ask whether the now further damaged wreck is still strong enough to be refloated and towed away.
After successful parbuckling nine of the 11 port caissons/tanks were fully submerged, i.e. the top of tank was ~12 meters below water. About 20 000 m3 of contaminated water inside the ship shifted from starboard to port side. The hull starboard deckhouse side was evidently seen severely damaged and pushed in on the starboard side and further underwater examination is necessary to determine the damages and/or any fractures of the hull below and if more sponson tanks can be fitted, etc.
The up righted wreck may have a mass of 51 000 tons incl. port side caissons only. The volume of submerged parts of the wreck may be 10 000 m3, which provides 10 000 tons of buoyancy. Thus about 41 000 tons of damaged wreck rests on the false sea floor steel platforms at port side and the 17 000 tons of groutings on starboard side ... and on the rocks, of course. If you empty the port side caissons to provide 25 000 tons of buoyancy there, the wreck will not rise but the load on the platform is reduced. In order to refloat the wreck you need about 21 000 tons of buoyancy on the starboard side, too to get off the rocks. How to do that?
Franco Porcellacchia, Vice President of Carnival Corporate Ship Refit Department:
"We now know with certainty the work that remains to be done, and we have the guarantee that certain operations can be carried out in a time frame that we can predict, so with what remains to be done it is reasonable to say that we'll be ready in September & We have an exact mapping of the water inside the various compartments. The ship has been compartmentalized in a way that any polluting materials like chemical products, paint, are contained in a secure and robust manner, and therefore there is no sign of leakage or loss of these substances, and so we do not predict that will happen in the next months. & Nonetheless we are equipped to collect anything that will eventually come out of the ship when it is brought upright, and we will have several means in position to contain anything that comes out".
You really wonder what guarantee and time frame the Carnival executive are talking about.
A little earlier, Feb 9, 2013, there was this incomprehensible news from Isola del Giglio:
"So far as concerns activities to manage the water inside the wreck, the strategy to implement the Plan was discussed, as were the results of the first cycle of samples of water inside the wreck, with a total of 62 samples taken near the portions of the hull held to be most critical and representative. 82 parameters have been taken into consideration, involving a total of over 5 thousand tests. The alterations found, caused by the degradation of food, furnishings and systems, as well as by the presence of hydrocarbons, are concentrated in a few specific compartments in the wreck."
Giglio mayor Sergio Ortelli:
"Bringing the ship upright in September (2013) would be a huge step forward, because from that moment onwards we will be able to plan the timings (sic) much more effectively and more accurately over this situation that is very complex. Righting the vessel will allow us to assess what happened on the side that is under water, understand the lacerations and what further interventions must be carried out before the ship can be taken away."
Actually the starboard hull side will still be 15-30 meters below water and the further interventions are simply, after establishing the present condition of the damaged hull of the wreck by underwater survey, the ...
The space on starboard side is very tight and confined. The starboard tanks will apparently be towed on barges to the wreck. Then all tanks #S1-15 will be lowered/sunk completely below water as far as possible until they touch bottom. See figure above - the tops of all tanks are fully below the green waterline before refloating.
Tanks #S3-13 are apparently attached to the wreck by chains/wires in the four corners of each tank running below the wreck's bottom and fixed on the other side and then tanks #S3-13 are filled with air, so they float up against the wreck ... below water ... with their tops 12 meters below water. Total 36 wires/chains have to be hauled through the corner holes - using a crane barge - and after part refloating each tank the wires are secured.
How tanks #S1-2 and #S14-15 are attached to the wreck's side is not clear - some hook up arrangement? Tanks #P1-2 on the port side are apparently attached to the blister and tanks #P14-15 are attached to foundations welded there last year. Later all tanks port and starboard + blister will be completely filled with air (water is pushed out) to first liftoff and later refloat the wreck.
The Salvors have during winter 2013/2 014 repaired and prepared the wreck below water to receive the 15 starboard tanks, which can be attached fairly, quickly, it seems, when wires, chains and other attachments are in place.
Only two small floating cranes seem to be in use and they apparently support the divers fitting the securing beams between platforms/caissons on port side and doing repair and preparation works on the starboard side. All underwater, of course.
You do not really need sponsons #S3 and #S13, if you do the other sponsons a little bigger and want to save money. You only have to ensure that 25 500 m3 of buoyancy below 18 meters draught can be applied to the starboard side at refloating. Six sponsons could probably do it. Or just one ... pontoon on the surface!
More pictures of the installation of the tubular restraint system to prevent the fore ship from moving provided by the Salvors. You wonder how one or two floating lines or tubes (?) along the wreck can retain the moving fore ship in place. Regardless - the restraint systems were removed 5-11 April, 2014 and the wreck is now free to move again due to wave and wind forces
On 18 December 2013 most of the people and ships that worked on the M/S Costa Concordia were gone. Reason was that little removal work will happen at Isola del Giglio until April, 2014.
John/Giovanni Zardoni of the Salvors T/M advised 18 December 2013:
"In mid-April, probably around 20 (April 2014) to be statistically sure to have a wide time window of favorable weather and sea conditions, we will begin the delicate process of installation of the 15 boxes on the right side that are almost ready and will arrive from Livorno already vertical position to facilitate the operation. After the attachment of the caissons, the buoyancy of the ship could be done in a week or two, and then allow the immediate towing of the wreck at a port or near the point of intersection with the Vanguard for berthing in ports further away, also abroad. ...
So the wreck's starboard side, during the winter 2013/14, will be repaired or prepared for installations of 15 buoyancy tanks and in April/May (60 days) 2014 the 19 missing sponson buoyancy tanks will be attached to the wreck (4 port side, 15 flexible ones starboard side) - (only 3 days to attach a tank!) and in June 2014 the 30 tanks + blister will be filled with air ... and the wreck will be refloated ... at 18 meters draught. Fantastic! Shouldn't the fractured flat bottom also be ... repaired?
In January 2014 it was suddenly decided to remove the two rudders of the wreck (??) underwater, which apparently are in the way for successful removal. Why and how is not clear.
1 February 2014 a Spanish diver died during work underwater repairing the starboard side:
"The diver worked for the Spanish company UCS (Underwater Contractors Spain) and was involved in an underwater operation when the incident occurred, said an official at Titan Micoperi, the company in charge of the salvage work."
Italian media name diver as Israel Franco Moreno from La Coruña, Spain. He apparently cut himself on a piece of steel, if we can believe media, maybe trying to install a new bilge plate at frame #228. An underwater picture of the place of accident would be interesting to see, including the edge of the steel that cut him. It is apparently risky to work underwater on the damaged starboard side. The Salvors said:
TITAN is cooperating fully with the Italian authorities and is confident that this was a tragic accident without wrongdoing.
Media has not confirmed if it was an accident. Maybe it was the fault of the Master Francesco Schettino? He sank the ship killing people, it is suggested.
Only 170 persons were then at work preparing fitting the tanks April 2014. If they work 24/24 and 7/7 is not clear.
No underwater activities at the wreck were reported mid-February 2014. Maybe all divers were watching the Olympic winter games? But the Salvors reported:
"Prevista l'installazione dei rinforzi del ginocchio della nave sulla fiancata di dritta.
My Italian is poor and I cannot understand what the installation of reinforcement of the knee on the starboard, probably underwater, side of the ship is for. The knee appears to be the bilge (sentina in Italian), which we know is damaged at PF and PA around, and the reinforcements are big plates:
The buoyancy forces must be applied uniformly forward/aft/port/starboard to avoid excessive trim and heel and imposed forces/moments. The floating wreck is then subject to buoyancy (~47 000 tons), wave, current and wind forces ... and must be held in location by tugs not to drift away or up on the shore. And there apparently the bumpers come in. As already stated several times above the reason that wreck is floating at 29.99 meters draught is that the submerged mass of the wreck at ~30 meters draught is ~47.000 tons. Archimedes, you know. The wreck with sponsons is like a submarine resting on the bottom that has just filled its flotation tanks with air to liftoff from the sea bed. The wreck will probably heel as the buoyancy forces are applied asymmetrically port (in the vertical side) and starboard (at the rounded bilge) so you have to adjust the buoyancy applied accordingly.
Only buoyancy forces now support the ends of the wreck forward of PF and aft of PA and the amidships part P in between. The buoyancy forces must be applied uniformly to keep bending moments and shear forces in the wreck's damaged structure low and to minimize trimming and heeling. The port buoyancy forces are applied at the welded sponson connections in the side and stresses there are low. The starboard buoyancy forces are applied to the thin but hopefully reinforced by doublers plate at the 56 points of chain contact low down at the bilge and local stresses there are high. It would appear the floating wreck will heel due to asymmetric application of buoyancy forces, which must be adjusted accordingly.
As the wreck's hull bottom and side structures at PF and PA are damaged (and not really seriously repaired), it is a possibility that wreck flat bottom and bilge fractures at PF and PA and that the ends simply drop off and the compressed air system stops working. The aft fractures may be between sponsons #13 and #14 and the forward ones between sponsons #3 and #4.
At liftoff the ends will first trim up or down relative the midbody, unless the buoyancy applied to the ends perfectly balances the masses but wave forces will play their tricks.
The structural fracture, crack or buckle develops very fast and will be heard as a big bang. The deckhouse structure is only 4-5 mm plates that are easily ripped apart. The superstructure is a little stronger, 6 mm plates. The hull is not much stronger and the hull plates are easily ripped apart, if fractured. The damaged sections will then trim and displace vertically and find a new equilibrium, e.g. one end drops off.
The wreck may then suddenly be in three parts to be handled by assisting tugs. You can evidently re-sink the parts again and hope that they will land on the platforms and rock below ... if the compressed air, sounding and valve control systems are still working.
We will see.
It is assumed that the tugs will connect to the forward #1P+#1S and aft #15P+#15S buoyancy tanks' parts above water, so these tanks must be properly connected to the floating wreck. But you can also push at the bumper locations.
In principle or theory it is possible to tow the floating wreck, full of water of course, away now ... at 29.99 meters draught, unless it breaks into three parts.
The tugs must not only hold the wreck and 30 sponsons, mass 45 500 + 11 500 tons, in place but also the mass of water, say 170.000 tons, inside the wreck at 29.99 meters draught providing 10 000 tons of buoyancy.
But you can evidently raise or refloat the wreck more by adding more buoyancy, i.e. add more air in the sponsons to compensate for buoyancy lost coming above waterline in the process.
Everything will be Ok because every step of liftoff and refloating is subject to authorization by competent Italian authorities!
When more, ~4 000 m3 air at initially ~2.5 bar pressure is added as buoyancy, the floating wreck will rise more and more out of water and the draught be further reduced - 12 meters - from 30 or 29.99 to 18 meters draught ... unless the ends drop off, when the amidships part will float higher. The ~4 000 m3 extra buoyancy must also be applied so that you do not produce bending moments and shear forces and tension in the flat bottom or top of the deckhouse causing fractures that will break off the ends. You must also reduce the pressure in the sponsons, when wreck rises and draught is reduced.
The bumpers are at the end of operation 12 meter higher up above water! The tugs cannot reach them.
The buoyancy provided by the submerged (12 meters) part of the deckhouse is thus reduced and, if the buoyancy of 12 meters deckhouse corresponds to about 4.000 m3, you will start to float at 29.99 meters draught, when ~47 000 tons of water has been pushed out of the buoyancy tanks = liftoff. When another 4.000 m3 have been pushed out using initially ~2.5 bar compressed air pressure, the draught of the floating wreck will be ~18 meters and the air pressure in the sponsons ~1.7 bar. The bumpers will be 12 meters above water. Evidently air buoyancy must be added uniformly to avoid the wreck to trim and heel and to be subject to excessive forces and moments. Don't forget to reduce the air pressure in the sponsons, when they float up, to avoid overpressure, etc. To control a fully submerged sponson attached to a floating wreck with a part above water is very complex and the ensure safety is extremely difficult.
The below picture illustrates how 4 000 tons of buoyancy provided by 12 meters submerged deckhouse disappears (!) after liftoff until complete refloating and that 4 000 tons extra buoyancy in the form of compressed air at reduced pressure is required inside the sponsons. Reason, why the buoyancy disappears from the wreck, is that it comes above water at refloating.
Detailed but simple calculations by the Salvors will ensure more accurate data for successful liftoff and refloating operations and hopefully mainstream media will publish them ahead of real action. I assume the air inside the sponsons will expand by itself, when the wreck rises after liftoff and when the sea water pressure at the bottom of the sponsons is reduced from ~2.5 to ~1.7 bar, so you have to be extremely careful after liftoff. The Salvors are strongly recommended to ask some submarine officers how to go about it. Submarines sometimes float up too fast, when too much compressed air is injected too fast in their buoyancy tanks replacing water ... and the sub can rise at great speed hitting boats on the surface. It seems the software and IT systems for liftoff and refloating shall be ready 20 June, 2014 (salvage work item # 777).
It is recommended that the static shear forces and bending moment at PF and PA are zero during refloating ... to reduce the risk of wreck breaking apart. Of course it is not a big deal if the ends drop off! They may capsize, roll forward or aft or drift away and can maybe be recovered later. Nobody can be aboard the wreck at liftoff and refloating due to the risk of wreck breaking apart and the control systems stopping to function.
Another 12.0 meters of the wreck deckhouse, about four decks, will become visible above water during the refloating. It is full of rotten and stinking furniture, carpets, shit, etc. 100 000 tons of water in the deckhouse flows out.
It may look and smell impressive. And when? July 2014! It will be a very slow process.
~18 meters of wreck deckhouse, superstructure and hull will still remain hidden below water when the wreck is towed away but will provide some buoyancy too. The life saving appliances, LSA, embarkation deck will be visible just above the tops of the sponson caissons.
Remember that parbuckling applied great local forces on the starboard bilge at PF and PA and that the bottom/bilge structure was fractured due to them.
So let's repeat: ~47 000 m3 buoyancy compressed air at ~2.5 bar applied 30 meters underwater into the sponsons (the tops of the 22 amidships sponsons #3-13 are 12 meters below water at start of operations) are required for liftoff at 29.99 meters draught and another ~4 000 m3 buoyancy air, at less pressure, for raising the wreck 12 meters to 18 meters draught, so we can see 12 meters of deckhouse full of shit above water.
It seems the sponsons buoyancy system (excluding the blister) have total capacity ~64 000 m3 so, if 20% becomes unavailable for any reason, e.g. leakages compressed air or valve failures, there will be no refloating at all.
The compressed air must also be injected to (i) keep the wreck even trim and (ii) balance local weights to keep bending down all the time, so full buoyancy capacity cannot be used. Some sponsons will contain more air than others. The risk that the damaged wreck breaks into three parts cannot be ignored. It appears very complex to raise the wreck with 30 sponsons and a blister below water. It should have been much simpler with floating pontoons and a cradle below the wreck. And that was actually done July 2014. Sponsons #S1, S2, S4-S12, S14 and S15 were floating as pontoons with their tops above water and the lifting force was applied by pulling in the chains.
You may recall that the port stabilizer fin was seen sticking out up in the air of the sunken wreck January 2012. It was later cut off. The starboard stabilizer fin - 30-35 meters below water - was cut off from the wreck 16-19 April, 2014 (salvage item #626). It was not damaged at the uprighting, i.e. there was no sea floor there, when ship capsized and sank 14 January, 2012, but must apparently be removed now to enable refloating, etc.
If I understand correctly, the submerged wreck resting on bottom at 30 meters depth can only rise 12 meters by adding ~51 000 m3 of buoyancy (air) to it. And no liftoff happens before ~47 000 m3 of buoyancy have been added, as that corresponds to the mass 47 000 tons of the submerged wreck below water at 30 meters draught (adjusted for buoyancy of the submerged part).
However Nick Sloane, big chief of the Salvors beach combers, thinks I am wrong and stated September 17, 2013, that the following will happen, when air replaces water in the sponson buoyancy tanks and produces buoyancy:
"Only then can the engineers (read beach combers) refloat the ship, which is now sunken in 30 meters of water. The giant vessel (read wreck!) will rise up 22 meters from its current position, in a procedure that should be at least as spectacular as the parbuckling was. Securing the ship's underbelly (? sic) will then take three more weeks, meaning it will finally be towed away sometime next summer."
Evidently the giant wreck will not float at 8 meters draught as suggested by Nick. If that were the case, you could go aboard, close all illegal watertight doors under water, pump out the intact hull compartments and the wreck would float by itself.
The wreck can only be raised about 12 meters and float at about 18 meters draught, because that's where the tops of the attached sponsons are. Regarding three more weeks securing the floating wreck's underbelly - the flat bottom - little can be done, so you wonder what Nick is on about. Why can't he use proper nautical and shipbuilding terms?
In order to raise the wreck to float at 8 meters draught >60 000 m3 of buoyancy in the shape of sponsons must be attached to the hull below 8 meters draught. The sponsons must then be only 8 meters tall and much wider, which is not the case at present. If floating pontoons were used it would, on the other hand, be possible to raise the wreck at 8 meters draught.
There will not be any spectacular show ... unless the ends drop off! The wreck can only rise about 12 meters. Not 22 meters. If you fit the sponsons 10 meters lower down at the side, you may raise the wreck a little more.
The 30 sponson or external buoyancy tanks will at any draught just apply buoyancy forces as shear to the wreck via the connections tanks/wreck (welding port, chains/wires starboard - on the starboard bilge) and, as they are fairly uniformly applied, the wreck is subject to little bending and additional shear. The sponson tanks do not provide any strength to the structurally damaged wreck. Only buoyancy.
After refloating and during towing and subject to wave loads a crack or fracture in the damaged hull side and bottom - underbelly (ouff) - may develop and ... the vessel breaks into two or more parts.
If the tugs are only connected to the ends that drop off, the mid part may drift away on its own.
Hopefully all the parts will still float on the sponson tanks.
You cannot secure any underbelly (sic), when the wreck is floating. At any draught.
The floating wreck hull, superstructure and deckhouse below water are still full of water of course and the next question is, if the wreck can be towed away ... and carefully inspected by marine casualty investigators. Towed away? Where? Carefully inspected? How? The wreck is full of water!
Before towing away you have to remove the electric shore connection. As the towed vessel must be illuminated, an onboard power pack is needed unless oil lights are used.
Evidently about 100 000 m3 of water that was trapped inside the submerged deckhouse (it has risen 12 meters out of the water) escape into the sea while refloating from 30 to 18 meters draught. The total mass of wreck and remaining water inside is then, say, of the order ~127.000 tons. To move it and the wreck itself you need a fair number of strong tugs.
The tugs must not only tow the wreck (45 500 tons) and empty sponsons (11 500 tons) but also the water (~70 000 tons) inside the wreck that provides about 6 000 tons of buoyancy. If a tow wire breaks or the sponson to which the tow wire is connected breaks off, you are in trouble. How to re-establish the tow? Maybe the wreck will drift away on its own as a danger for other ships. Will the tow be insured?
The wreck cannot be anchored somewhere because it does not have any anchors. It can hardly be moored anywhere as it lacks mooring equipment and needs a pier with 18 meters depth. So the wreck will be towed ... and towed ... somewhere. Do not ask me where. Ask the ship owner what the plans are. And what towage company shall be used. It is suggested that the Genoa Voltri container port will be used for the scrapping; the wreck will occupy one or two berths (of five), so the capacity of the port will be reduced. The cranes must also be modified to handle the scrap. The draught in the port is only 15 meters so it must also be increased.
You can evidently position the towed wreck in an area with a flat seafloor at depth, say 20 meters and re-sink it there - let out air from the sponsons - and the wreck will rest on the seafloor again. With 20 meters of hull, superstructure and deckhouse below water.
The Salvors still thought October 2013 that they could, apart from four extra port tanks, actually attach 15 flexible sponson caissons underwater on the damaged/repaired starboard side and then refloat the wreck with beam B = ~65 meters, so it will have draught d = ~15.4 meters after refloat something like:
In order to do so another 2.6 meters of wreck (one more
deck) has to be lifted upwards above sea level than
previously planned by ship owner and/or Salvors, i.e.
extra buoyancy (only of the order 1 000
m3 + the already added buoyancy lost/coming above
waterline or 8.000
m3) has to be provided one way or another 2.6
meters further down the side below water, i.e. more or
larger (more beam) sponson caisson tanks be fitted lower
down. The Dockwise
Vanguard solution animation thinks the
M/S Costa Concordia wreck floats high with
draught <15.4 meters with most of its sponson
caisson buoyancy tanks at the sides above
(?) water - in reality only the below
water parts of the sponsons provide buoyancy. But
maybe the vessel can float at 15.4 meters
draught? So instead of towing away the water filled
vessel using tugs the US$ 30 M Dockwise
Vanguard solution may be considered.
Vanguard is a ship that can be submerged
15.5 meters and slip below the M/S Costa
Concordia total mass >57 000 tons ...
after it having been refloated completely and
lost all its inherent buoyancy and shifted away
from the platforms by say, at least six tugs to an
area with depth >35 meters ... and lift it
completely out of water while emptying the hull of
all water and transport it away somewhere.
The Dockwise Vanguard solution animation thinks the M/S Costa Concordia wreck floats high with draught <15.4 meters with most of its sponson caisson buoyancy tanks at the sides above (?) water - in reality only the below water parts of the sponsons provide buoyancy. But maybe the vessel can float at 15.4 meters draught?
So instead of towing away the water filled vessel using tugs the US$ 30 M Dockwise Vanguard solution may be considered. M/S Dockwise Vanguard is a ship that can be submerged 15.5 meters and slip below the M/S Costa Concordia total mass >57 000 tons ... after it having been refloated completely and lost all its inherent buoyancy and shifted away from the platforms by say, at least six tugs to an area with depth >35 meters ... and lift it completely out of water while emptying the hull of all water and transport it away somewhere.
All water incl. liquid pollution of any kind in the hull - 70 000 tons - will just flow out via the openings port and starboard in the damaged hull or has to be pumped out. You wonder if the competent authorities have thought about it.
On 10 October, 2013, Dockwise, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Royal Boskalis Westminster N.V. (Boskalis), the owners of Dockwise Vanguard, announced that they had been awarded a contract to transport the wreck - after refloating and shifting to a suitable location - somewhere - destination unknown - for demolition. It will take place autumn 2014. The Dockwise Vanguard is booked by wreck owner Costa Crociere SpA for the months of September and October, 2014. The port of destination of the wreck is evidently the responsibility of the wreck owner
Evidently, when you unload the wreck from Dockwise Vanguard, the wreck hull, superstructure and deckhouse up to the embarkation deck level will be up flooded with water again through the port side damage and float on the sponsons port and starboard at ~15-18 meters draught.
Had the M/S Costa Concordia 36.5 meters long, port side, shell damage been repaired watertight before up-righting September 2013 - a simple job as it was all above water then - the ship could float normally again at <9 meters draught after being pumped dry on the Dockwise Vanguard autumn 2014.
Media should really have asked why the accidental contact port side hull damage was not repaired watertight, when it was above water 14 January 2012 to 15 September 2013.
The wreck was evidently further hull damaged starboard side at PF and PA of the bilge, when parbuckled upright September 2013 took place. It could have been avoided by fitting plenty doubler plates/reinforcements there at 30 meters depth before uprighting but it wasn't done. So the Salvors try repairing starboard side at PF and PA of the bilge after up-righting, but can it be done?
The more you think about it, the more incompetent and badly planned the Salvors' efforts appear to be. Evidently M/S Costa Concordia hull can be repaired watertight, when it is loaded on the Dockwise Vanguard, but it will take some time.
You can probably buy a 20 years old 30 000 dwt tanker for $3M, use it to salvage M/S Costa Concordia, as outlined above, and later sell the tanker for scrap. And this method was actually used in July 2014 by the Salvors. They used their expensive sponsons #S4-S12 that could be submerged 12 meters as simple, always floating pontoons and applied the required lift force by pulling in the chains.
Original (2012) removal cost was say ~ US$ 300 million or 3/5 the value of the ship and all work should have been completed May 2013.
According one of the re-insurance companies, Bermuda based Validus (and Tradewinds - August 2013) the total cost (total loss + salvage) may reach U$ 2 000 million half or US$ 917 million of which shall pay the costs of Titan/Micoperi salvage efforts. Project was always delayed. And the expensive parbuckling progress was badly reported! Why does it cost so much? And will it really work in the end? It seems you destroy both the sea floor and the coral reefs and the ship's starboard bilge in the process. End July 2013 the Salvors said project was 72% complete (since removed from the web site) but the wreck was still half sunk on its side, 5 caissons were still to be fitted on the port side and no caissons had been fitted on the starboard side. And no parbuckling or refloating has been attempted.
My estimate is that the project was only 50% complete on 15 September 2013. The uprighting the next day evidently damaged the wreck hull but we have no details. If the 15 starboard caissons then can be attached to the damaged wreck underwater winter 2013/2014, the wreck could maybe be towed away earliest summer 2014 or more than a year late. And the final cost may be $ 2.000 million as suggested by Validus. For a ship that was unseaworthy before accidentally contacting a little rock, capsizing and sinking three hours later with probably invalid insurance.
You wonder what kind of contract was signed by ship owner and Salvors and why the ship owner still pays, when it seems Salvors Titan-Micoperi do not perform.
Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy's civil protection agency, had told reporters 28 February 2013 that officials were looking at September 2013 as the probable date to remove (!) the ship, taking into account conservative estimates for poor weather and rough seas. Originally, officials had said they hoped to tow it from Giglio's waters by early 2013. It seems Gabrielli was very, extremely optimistic ... or didn't know what he was talking about.
In addition, Gabrielli and Costa officials said the cost might now reach US$530 million, up from the US$400 million (?) originally estimated. It seems they are only one year and $ 517 million wrong. But maybe all money figures are just propaganda, like everything else reported by media?
"The huge hulk of the Costa Concordia wreck looms over the tourist island of Giglio where it has been since January 2012, and islanders are adamant to see it gone by the end of 2014".
The islanders are also optimistic! Wreck gone by the end of 2014?
"There is no business like wreck shove business I know."
Haven't I heard this song before? And stupid underwriters and re-insurance pay for it. Normally salvage/recovery is on a no cure, no pay basis. Here underwriters and re-insurance apparently pay for all salvage follies of the ship owner, when they shouldn't have paid a cent from beginning. The ship was not seaworthy and the ship owners knew it. Thus it was illegal to insure the ship. You cannot insure an unsafe, not seaworthy ship. But of course ... you can play stupid and try to blame the Master. Only not very intelligent ship owners do such things.
The wreck will probably be at Giglio island autumn 2014, while Salvors are trying to attach the 15 starboard sponson tanks to it. Money has to be made and delay is a good way for a dishonest ship owner. But I hope underwriters/reinsurance will not support the ship owner in this case much longer. We will see.
The 290 meters long and 55 meters wide wreck full of water with empty sponson caisson tanks on the outsides but with draught 18 meters (!) - the wreck is finally floating again - will maybe 2015 (?) be towed to Piombino port on the mainland. Maybe Titan-Micoperi will just return the damaged wreck full of water to the ship owner? If they are paid at all?
It is never too late to wonder how pump empty the wreck between the sponsons. Can it be done at Piombino? Will it ever be done? This is Italy!
In order to handle the wreck at Piombino a pier and a 370 meters long quay have to be built adjacent to a 80 000 m² working area to be arranged accordingly. The depth outside the new quay must be dredged to 20 meters. It appears these works have not started (April 2014). Maybe the wreck will be towed to Palermo or Genoa instead? It seems a decision has been made not to allow the wreck to leave Italy.In July 2014 it was decided to tow the wreck to Genoa.
Finally 17 000 tons of cement grouting sacks and the steel platforms have to removed at Isola del Giglio. That should be easy. You just pull them up. But the complete wreck above must be gone! Do not forget that. ...
And then corals, algae and sea weed are to be re-planted so that the fish and tourists will be happy again. Do not ask me how to re-plant corals! It may take place 2016.
28 November 2014 a contract was signed between Costa and Micoperi to clean the sea floor of the wreckage - the 17 000 tons (? - probably much more!) of 1 396 grating bags full of cement shall be lifted up and disposed of during 2015. Costa shall pay â¬85 million for this work. If the six platforms shall be raised, put on barges and towed away somewhere is still under discussion. Divers can also visit the two rocky coral reef outreaches PF and PA of the sea floor crushed by the wreck at parbuckling, when re-planting the corals.
So it appears that the wreck, after being refloated 2014, will not be pumped dry and not really inspected unless the Dockwise Vanguard solution is used! It will then not be established how the port side was pushed in by the strange outcrop of a granite rock producing the accidental contact. And how various hull compartments were (a) up flooded through the hull damage, (b) progressively flooded through illegal watertight door openings and (c) down flooded when the bulkhead deck was submerged, and associated losses of buoyancy and stability at every stage (a), (b) and (c) of the incident until vessel capsize and sinking the next day. And whether the ship was seaworthy at all prior the first incident. And whether the insurance incl. wreck removal cover was valid.
This case is very interesting! Like all crimes and mysteries at sea. Like this one!
"Evidently it would be much cheaper just to fill the wreck with cement and pour more cement on top of it and ... voilà ... a new island is created."
What name would it have? Schettino island?! What!? Captain F. Schettino didn't kill anyone! And the result was his island.
And maybe that will be done in the end. I had (September 2013) great doubts about the parbuckling. I feared the Salvors would destroy the wreck so it could not be removed even with conventional means. But no, they managed to remove the wreck from the island. Now, (July 2016) I still have my doubts about the recycling at Genoa.
Interesting case, indeed.
Maybe the best solution would have been to leave the M/S Costa Concordia wreck, where it was 14 January 2012, with funnel attached, to decay and fall apart as a tourist attraction. It would have cost nothing and been a warning to go cruising on unsafe, not seaworthy ships.
When the M/S Estonia sank 1994 the authorities headed by one (or two) Swedish prime minister(s) (in charge of investigating a ship sinking at sea?) coldly suggested that the wreck with >700's dead bodies should just be covered with cement and ... forgotten so that no proper examination or removal could ever take place. 10 000's of relatives of dead victims were just, democratically, told to shut up. The purpose was to cover-up a state crime (the kingdom of Sweden carrying illegal cargo to be delivered to the USA on a not seaworthy Estonian flag ship with >850 innocent passengers). And the M/S Estonia accident investigators/conspirators succeeded. They created a fantasy to fool the public. Many of them are still in high positions in Sweden and Estonia instead of being in jail. Some are dead.
Go to Part 12.
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