Italian engineers have started an operation to refloat the Costa Concordia in preparations for the wreck to be towed away for scrap.
The once luxurious 290-metre long cruise ship, now covered with rust, has been raised approximately two metres from the platform on which it has been resting since it was first lifted from the seabed about a year ago.
To lift the shipwreck, the engineers pumped air into 30 large metal boxes, or sponsons, attached around the hull of the 114,500 tonne ship. The air forced out the water in the sponsons, lifting the vessel off the underwater platform.
The ship will be further stabilised with chains and cables before tug boats move it about 30 metres into the harbour, where it will be prepared to be towed within days to Genoa in northern Italy, to be scrapped.
E&T news covered the Costa Concordia salvage operation in full earlier today.
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