*UPDATE September 17: The Costa Concordia has been raised. See pictures of the now-upright ship.
It seems unbelievable that nearly a year and half after the capsizing of the Costa Concordia, the cruise ship still lays on its side off the coast of the island of Giglio – having compressed about 10 feet since its initial settlement on the rocky perch. As the Costa Concordia salvage operation continues, Captain Francesco Schettino arrived in court this week to defend himself against multiple manslaughter charges and other accusations.
Costa Concordia Salvage Update: Nick Sloane, an engineer for Titan Salvage and head of the salvage operation, believes there will be one chance for the ship to be pulled upright. One more winter with the vessel partly submerged could mean further compression and then an impossible recovery of the ship.
The plan is still to turn the ship upright in September and tow it to land where the Costa Concordia will be dissembled. Arrangements to have this done earlier on in the summer were abandoned when bad weather did not permit. Preparations are continuing to move forward though, as workers attached steel pieces which will act as hooks for 17,000 ton chains. Caissons, which will be filled with water, are also being attached by crew members to the exposed flank of the ship.
See related images: 12 of the Most Dramatic Costa Concordia Images
There are still two bodies that have not yet been recovered from the wreckage. Many suspect that once the ship is righted they will be able to find them. However, divers have not been inside the Costa Concordia to search for them since the initial rescuers concluded their rescue operations.
Francesco Schettino Trial: Due to a lawyer’s strike, the trial which was set to start July 9th was postponed until the 17th. The Teatro Moderno theater was converted into a courtroom to provide enough seating for the survivors and relatives of the 32 who died during the capsizing.
A prosecutor told the court: “That Schettino is guilty, is not in doubt. The only thing left to determine is how long his sentence will be.” The Captain faces 20 years in prison on manslaughter, causing a shipwreck, and abandoning ship before passengers. His plea deals have not been accepted despite his defense that his actions after the crash may have saved lives. However, he is still the most hated man in Italy.
Domnica Cemortan, a Moldovan dancer, also showed up in court in moral support for the Captain. The 26 year-old former hostess is demanding money from the Costa Cruises company after her reputation was damaged when it was revealed her intimate relationship with Schettino who is married with children. The company has refused to rehire her, which she is also challenging.
Images of this tragic event have continued to pour into Newscom. From the first dramatic pictures, to the surreal inside look of the ship, to the now current trial. So be sure to check out these images and more we have back at Newscom of the Costa Concordia update.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, July 17th, 2013 at 5:28 pm and is filed under In the News. You can follow any comments to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a comment, or trackback from your own site.