How Salvagers Plan To Re-Float Costa Concordia

By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran
By: CBS News, Posted by Chelsey Moran

The luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia leans on its side after running aground the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Saturday, Jan. 14, 2012. A luxury cruise ship ran aground off the coast of Tuscany, sending water pouring in through a 160-foot (50-meter) gash in the hull and forcing the evacuation of some 4,200 people from the listing vessel early Saturday, the Italian coast guard said. (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(CBS News) It's been six months since the cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a rock and capsized near Giglio, Italy. And the ship is still there, even as the relatives of the 32 people who died in the disaster visited the island to remember their loved ones Friday.

The cruise ship still sits where it landed on January 13 - half-submerged, just off the Tuscany coast.

Now it's salvage master Nick Sloane's job to re-float the vast ship. He told CBS News, "Being a passenger ship, she's not designed to be on her side, so we have to stabilize her as soon as possible."

The Costa Concordia has been remarkably stable so far. A jumble of deck chairs can still be seen piled by the long-empty swimming pools. But it's only resting at its front and back on rocky outcrops on the sea floor.

The salvage team is going to have to build a platform to support the entire ship, and then use cranes to ease her upright, and finally, pump air into massive steel containers welded to either side.

If the engineers' models are right, the wreck will re-float.

Then investigators can get inside and start gathering evidence.

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