Costa Concordia Salvage Operations In Pictures: Wreckage Lifted Off From Reef Bed

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  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    An aerial view shows the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side next to Giglio Island taken from an Italian navy helicopter on Aug. 26, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    An aerial view shows the Costa Concordia as it lies on its side next to Giglio Island taken from an Italian navy helicopter on Aug. 26, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    Salvage crew workers work on a side of the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia outside Giglio harbor on Sept. 14, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    Television camera crew protect themselves from the rain in front of the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia lying surrounded by cranes outside Giglio harbor on Sept. 15, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    People look on as the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia lies on its side next to Giglio Island on Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    Salvage crew workers follow an operation to raise the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia from a boat next to it, outside Giglio harbor on Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    The capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia lies on its side next to Giglio Island on Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    Salvage crew workers follow an operation to raise the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia from a boat next to it, outside Giglio harbor on Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    Salvage crew workers work on a side of the capsized Costa Concordia cruise liner outside Giglio harbor on Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    The capsized Costa Concordia cruise liner is pictured after the start of the "parbuckling" operation outside Giglio harbor on Sept. 16, 2013.
  • Costa Concordia Salvage Operation - A Slideshow
    A lightning storm is pictured over the sea near the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia, lying surrounded by cranes, outside Giglio harbor on Sept. 15, 2013.
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Operations to upright the wrecked Costa Concordia cruise ship, which rests on its side off the coast of Giglio Island in Italy, began on Monday, marking the largest salvage attempt in maritime history. After three hours of the operation, the engineers had successfully raised the ship up from the reef floor.

Coming up next is a painstakingly slow and complex process to set the gigantic vessel upright in the water. The operation was delayed by three hours and began at 9:00 a.m. local time (3:00 a.m. EDT) because bad weather overnight hampered last-minute preparations.

The salvage crew, from a multinational team of about 500 members, are working to haul the capsized ship out of the water with steel cables and winches. If successful, the massive salvage operation, dubbed as the world’s most expensive at more than 600 million euros ($795 million), will set the once luxurious cruise liner in an upright position on a cement float until the summer of 2014, when it will be towed and scraped.

The success of the project, named “The Parbuckling Project, depends on the extent of damage sustained by the 950-foot-long vessel, which weighs about 114,000 tons and is twice as heavy as the Titanic, and has been lying submerged on its side for the past 20 months.

However, Sergio Girotto, a chief engineer with the salvage team, said that the submerged hull has suffered “huge damage” but it is no worse than what was expected by the engineers, the Telegraph reported.               

The Costa Concordia capsized after it ran aground on reefs off the coast of the island of Giglio on Jan. 13, 2012, after it came too close to shore during a cruise.

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