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in F r e i s t i l 15.05.2019 11:28
von xuezhiqian123 • 3.404 Beiträge

by Alessandra Cardone

ROME Isaac Hayden Arsenal Jersey , July 21 (Xinhua) -- The countdown to Costa Concordia's final journey began on Monday at the tiny island of Giglio, in Italy.

With the last 3 meters of its huge hull still to emerge from waters and only final technical manoeuvres to be completed, the wreck of the cruise liner was almost ready to be dragged towards the northern port of Genoa to be dismantled.

The departure was initially scheduled for Tuesday morning, yet experts had warned a delay might still occur due to forecasts of bad sea conditions.

Late afternoon, indeed, the salvage team decided to postpone by one day, to Wednesday.

"We have decided to wait some 24 hours still Hector Bellerin Arsenal Jersey , this time will allow us to plan at best all activities," chief of Italy's civil protection agency Franco Gabrielli declared.

It was an extremely careful evaluation agreed among all actors involved in the salvage operation, Gabrielli added.

"Weather conditions are a bit worse than we expected last night, so we might still have to be patient," South African senior salvage master Nick Sloane had anticipated earlier on Monday.

Yet, expectations on the island were not subdued despite the small delay. Giglio's residents, media Granit Xhaka Arsenal Jersey , tourists, and even survivals of the shipwreck followed closely as technicians arranged the ultimate phase of this quite unprecedented salvage operation.

Costa Concordia has been lying few dozen meters off Giglio's shores since January 2012, when it hit rocks during the night and capsized, killing 32 people. Seeing the rusted wreckage finally dragged away from the island would be regarded as a very crucial and much-awaited event.

The refloating operation of the 114,500 tons, 290-meter long hull had begun on July 14. Costa Concordia was slowly raised off the submerged artificial platforms on which it had rested since it was put completely upright last September.

Technicians worked around the clock to secure the hull and inflate compressed air into 30 special metal tanks, or "sponsons" Gedion Zelalem Arsenal Jersey , carefully attached to both sides of the ship. The air drained the water from inside the sponsons, so as they could gradually lift and fully support the wreck's weigh.

Despite strong winds, works had proceeded during the previous night to complete refloating and, on Monday, "the ship had emerged of about 11 meters from the undersea platforms, with 3 more meters to reach the required draft," the consortium in charge of the operation Titan-Micoperi stated.

All decks but one had fully emerged and the last sponsons were being attached to the hull Gabriel Arsenal Jersey , according to chief engineer Franco Porcellacchia.

The refloating had been declared as the most delicate and risky phase of the project, yet operations went on smoothly for seven days. Some concerns were only caused by a limited oil spill occurred near the fifth deck on Sunday, but the oil was swiftly cleaned up without major damage for the waters, the environmental monitoring unit said.

According to the plan, the Concordia will be towed by a convoy of 14 vessels to the port of Genoa, some 200 nautical miles farther north, to be scrapped. Two tugboats will drag it at a 700-800 meters distance Francis Coquelin Arsenal Jersey , with the other vessels sailing at a double distance from the wreck.

The convoy will be travelling at a 2.5 knots speed per hour, and the journey is expected to last four to five days. Should weather conditions worsen during the sailing, the wreck will be dragged more east towards calmer waters along the coast, the Dutch captain in charge of the towing Hans Bosch said.

"At 2.5 knots speed, I expect the Concordia to sail very calmly behind us. Yet, we will monitor the weather carefully and, in case of any problem Emiliano Martinez Arsenal Jersey , we will of course get closer to the coast where ports such as Livorno or La Spezia are within reach," Bosch explained.

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