Falmouth company helps salvage Costa Concordia
A FALMOUTH-BASED marine drilling company has been involved in the salvage of the Costa Concordia, it is believed.
The Italian cruise liner ran aground off the Tuscan coast last year, killing 32 people.
Last night it was returned to an upright position, 20 months after it hit rocks off the island of Giglio.
A team from Falmouth’s Fugro Seacore started work on the wreck of the Concordia in January after winning a contract to install the foundations for six offshore platforms to help recover the 114,000-tonne vessel.
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Marine services business unit manager Sam Whitaker told the West Briton in January: “The sheer toughness of the granite seabed makes this a difficult task, but our team is very experienced and working as hard as possible.
“They have worked together on many similar drilling projects across the world for jetties, bridge foundations and offshore turbines, but this project is on an unprecedented scale.”
The company has more than 34 years’ experience, working on marine drilling projects all over the world.
The stricken ocean liner, which still contains tons of rotting food, furniture and passengers' belongings, now needs to be assessed and repaired before it can be towed away and scrapped.
Recovering the ship, which is twice as heavy as the Titanic, has been described as one of the toughest marine recovery operations in modern history.
There had been concern that bad weather would cause it to slide into a 100-metre deep water channel, so it had to be secured with chains and cables drilled into the seabed.
Divers fixed subsea drill templates weighing 200 tonnes to the seabed to hold the drill bits in place, to ensure the drilling procedure to install pillars below the ship to attach platforms, was as secure as possible.
The Concordia ran aground when the captain steered too close to shore and struck a rock, leading to the deaths of 32 passengers and crew.
No one was available for comment today.