The Costa Concordia is one of the most renowned cruise ships of the recent era, and not for a good reason. Cruise ship sinkings are extremely rare these days, but the Costa Concordia proved that they can still happen – and that they can still have tragic consequences.
But since the ship sank in 2012, what’s happened to it? Is it still where it crashed, or has it been relocated?
Let’s take a look.
Where is the Costa Concordia now?
The Costa Concordia no longer exists – it has been dismantled for scrap. It lay off the coast of Giglio for over two years after the sinking, before it was recovered and towed to the port of Genoa where it was dismantled.
Costa Concordia Sinking & Salvage Timeline
- 13 January 2012 – Costa Concordia runs aground at around 9.45 pm and begins to take on water.
- 14 January 2012 – The last survivors escape the ship.
- March 2012 – The fuel is removed from the ship by salvage company Smit International.
- 17 September 2013 – The ship is brought into a vertical position through a process of parbuckling.
- 14 July 2014 – The ship is slowly refloated in preparation for towing.
- 23 July 2014 – The ship begins its towing journey, travelling at just 2 knots (equivalent of 2 MPH).
- 27 July 2014 – The ship reaches Genoa port and dismantling begins.
- 11 May 2015 – After the initial dismantling is complete, the ship is towed to the Superbacino dock in Genoa where the upper decks will be removed.
- August 2016 – The last of the sponsons are removed from the ship.
- 1 September 2016 – The ship is taken into drydock for the final stages of dismantling.
- 7 July 2017 – The dismantling of the ship is finally completed.
- May 2018 – Remedial work was completed at the site of the initial salvage operation, to clean the ocean floor and remove the platform used in the parbuckling process.
To briefly explain the parbuckling process – firstly, the funnel is removed from the ship, and then a platform is built underneath the water to support the ship once it is righted.
The next step is to attach steel sponsons to the side of the ship above the water, and then partially fill these with water. The water acts as additional weight so that, with the use of cables, the ship can be pulled upright to sit on the support platform.
Once that’s done, sponsons are added to the previously submerged side of the ship to even it out, and are then emptied of water when the time comes to refloat the ship.
What finally happened to Costa Concordia?
The Costa Concordia was scrapped once it had been salvaged and towed to Genoa. It’s estimated that the final cost for the salvage and scrapping of the ship was likely around $2 billion – around three times the cost of building the ship.
Scrapping the ship would only have recouped around $42 million in steel – a tiny amount compared to the huge sums spent in recovering the ship, and nowhere near even the costs of the scrapping process alone (estimated to be around $100 million).
Because the ship could not be repaired and restored to sailing condition, she was replaced in the Costa fleet by Costa Diadema, which was ordered in October 2012 and entered service for the cruise line two years later.
Did they find all the bodies on the Costa Concordia?
All of the people who died on the Costa Concordia were recovered, although it wasn’t a fast process – the last body was only recovered in November 2014, almost three years after the ship ran aground.
The last person to be found was Indian waiter Russel Rebello. He was discovered during the dismantling of the ship, after it had been transported to Genoa.
Prior to this, one Italian passenger had been missing until October 2013, when human remains were discovered. DNA testing showed that those remains belonged to Maria Grazia Trecarichi, and that Rebello was still unaccounted for.
With any cruise ship sinking incidents such as the Costa Concordia disaster, the priority is always the people onboard, and the loss of life is the real tragedy. But it is also sad to lose a ship, one that thousands of people helped to build and hundreds of crew called their home for months on end.
The scrapping of the Costa Concordia is not the headline – the 32 people who died are those who deserve our thoughts. However, the fact that such a major cruise ship ended up as scrap metal – worth less than a tenth of her cost to build – is a real shame too.
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