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A massive hauling job

Oct 21, 2013

Courtesy Boskalis

Salvage companies righted the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia in September 2013. Then workers attached sponsons to the ship's crumpled starboard side to refloat it. At that point, the original plan called for the vessel to be towed to a breaker's yard by ocean-going tugs.

Now, however, the Italian-based cruise line Costa Crociere, the owners of the wreck, intend to transport it away from the Italian island of Giglio by using Dockwise Vanguard, a massive semi-submersible vessel normally used to transport gigantic structures such as oil rigs.

Once the starboard sponsons have been welded on and the wreck is floating due to their added buoyancy, Dockwise Vanguard will be partially submerged and the Costa Concordia wreck will be towed into position by tugs. Then Dockwise Vanguard will be "de-ballasted" and will lift the wreck clear of the water. See video animation of the process below.

Some yacht owners may be familiar with the Dockwise name due to Dockwise Yacht Transport, which uses semi-submersible vessels to haul yachts across oceans. Even given the size of superyachts these days, however, hauling the the 952-foot long, 114,000-gross-ton Costa Concordia wreck is a much more daunting task. 

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