Costa Concordia

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For details of the 2012 grounding of the ship, see Costa Concordia disaster.
Costa Concordia
Costa Concordia in Palma, Majorca, Spain.JPG
Costa Concordia in Majorca, Spain in September 2011.
Career
Name: Costa Concordia
Owner: Carnival Corporation & plc
Operator: Costa Crociere
Port of registry:  Italy
Route: Western Mediterranean
Ordered: 19 January 2004
Builder: Fincantieri Sestri Ponente, Italy
Cost: 450 million (£372 million, US$570 million)
Yard number: 6122
Launched: 2 September 2005 (2005-09-02)
Christened: 7 July 2006[1]
Acquired: 30 June 2006
Maiden voyage: 14 July 2006
In service: July 2006
Out of service: 13 January 2012
Identification: Call sign: IBHD
IMO number: 9320544
MMSI number: 247158500
Status: Partly sunk off Isola del Giglio; salvage completed; being transported for scrapping.
General characteristics [2]
Class & type: Concordia-class cruise ship
Tonnage: 114,147 GT
Length: 290.20 m (952 ft 1 in) (overall)
247.4 m (811 ft 8 in) (between perpendiculars)
Beam: 35.50 m (116 ft 6 in)
Draught: 8.20 m (26 ft 11 in)
Depth: 14.18 m (46 ft 6 in)
Decks: 13
Installed power: 6 × Wärtsilä 12V46C
76,640 kW (102,780 hp) (combined)
Propulsion: Diesel-electric; two shafts
Alstom propulsion motors (2 × 21 MW)
Two fixed pitch propellers
Speed: 19.6 knots (36 km/h; 23 mph) (service)
23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph) (maximum)
Capacity: 3,780 passengers
Crew: 1,100

MS Costa Concordia (Italian pronunciation: [ˈkɔsta konˈkɔrdja]) was a Concordia-class cruise ship built in 2004 by the Fincantieri's Sestri Ponente yards in Italy and operated from 2005 until 2012 by Costa Crociere (a subsidiary of Carnival Corporation). She was wrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Italy on 13 January 2012. She has been declared a total loss and is being salvaged as of 2014, following which she will be scrapped. The name Concordia was intended to express the wish for "continuing harmony, unity, and peace between European nations."[3]

Costa Concordia was the first of the Concordia-class cruise ships, followed by sister ships Costa Serena, Costa Pacifica, Costa Favolosa and Costa Fascinosa, and Carnival Splendor built for Carnival Cruise Lines. When the 114,137 GT Costa Concordia and her sisters entered service, they were among the largest ships built in Italy until the construction of the 130,000 GT Dream-class cruise ships.

On 13 January 2012 at about 9:45 p.m., in calm seas and overcast weather, under command of Captain Francesco Schettino, Costa Concordia struck a rock in the Tyrrhenian Sea just off the eastern shore of Isola del Giglio, on the western coast of Italy about 100 km (62 mi) northwest of Rome.[4][5] This tore a 50 m (160 ft) gash on the port side of her hull, which soon flooded parts of the engine room resulting in power loss to her propulsion and electrical systems. With water flooding in and listing, the ship drifted back to Giglio Island where she grounded 500 m (550 yd) north of the village of Giglio Porto, resting on her starboard side in shallow waters with most of her starboard side under water.[6][7] Despite the gradual sinking of the ship, its complete loss of power, and its proximity to shore in calm seas, an order to abandon ship was not issued until over an hour after the initial impact. Although international maritime law requires all passengers to be evacuated within 30 minutes of an order to abandon ship, the evacuation of Costa Concordia took over six hours and not all passengers were evacuated. Of the 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew known to have been aboard, 32 died.[8][9]

Concept and construction[edit]

Costa Concordia was ordered in 2004 by Carnival Corporation from Fincantieri and built in the Sestri Ponente yard in Genoa,[10] as yard number 6122.[11] At the vessel's launch at Sestri Ponente on 2 September 2005,[12] the champagne bottle, released by model Eva Herzigová, failed to break when swung against the hull the first time, an inauspicious omen in maritime superstition.[13] The ship was delivered to Costa on 30 June 2006.[14] She cost 450 million (£372 million, US$570 million) to build.[15]

Description[edit]

Costa Concordia was 290.20 metres (952 ft 1 in) long, had a beam of 35.50 m (116.5 ft) and drew 8.20 m (26.9 ft) of water. She had a diesel-electric power plant consisting of six 12-cylinder Wärtsilä 12V46C four-stroke medium-speed diesel generating sets with a combined output of 76.6 MW (102,780 hp).[16] These main generators provided power for all shipboard consumers from propulsion motors to hotel functions like lighting and air conditioning. The ship was propelled by two 21-megawatt electric motors coupled to fixed-pitch propellers.[17] Her design service speed was 19.6 knots (36 km/h; 23 mph),[11] but during sea trials, she achieved a speed of 23 knots (43 km/h; 26 mph).

Layout[edit]

Costa Concordia had 13 public decks; Deck 1 is the lowest:[18]

  • Deck 1 Olanda
  • Deck 2 Svezia
  • Deck 3 Belgio
  • Deck 4 Grecia
  • Deck 5 Italia
  • Deck 6 Gran Bretagna           
  • Deck 7 Irlanda
  • Deck 8 Portogallo
  • Deck 9 Francia
  • Deck 10 Germania
  • Deck 11 Spagna
  • Deck 12 Austria
  • Deck 13 Polonia

Amenities[edit]

Costa Concordia was outfitted with approximately 1,500 cabins; 505 with private balconies and 55 with direct access to the Samsara Spa and were considered Spa staterooms; 58 suites had private balconies and 12 had direct access to the spa. Costa Concordia had one of the world's largest exercise facility areas at sea, the Samsara Spa, a two-level, 6,000 m2 (64,600 sq ft) fitness center, with gym, a thalassotherapy pool, sauna, Turkish bath and a solarium. The ship had four swimming pools, two with retractable roofs, five jacuzzis, five spas, and a poolside movie theatre on the main pool deck.[19]

There were five on-board restaurants, with Club Concordia and Samsara taking reservations-only dining. There were thirteen bars, including a cigar and cognac bar and a coffee and chocolate bar.

Entertainment options included a three-level theatre, casino, a futuristic disco, and a children's area equipped with video games. She also had aboard a Grand Prix motor racing simulator and an internet café.[20]

Accidents and incidents[edit]

2008 bow damage[edit]

The Costa Concordia after repairs In 2009

On 22 November 2008, Costa Concordia suffered damage to her bow when high winds over the Sicilian city of Palermo pushed the ship against its dock. There were no injuries and repairs started soon after.[20][21][22]

2012 grounding and partial sinking[edit]

On 13 January 2012, at 21:45 local time (UTC+1), Costa Concordia hit a rock off Isola del Giglio (42°21′55″N 10°55′17″E / 42.36528°N 10.92139°E / 42.36528; 10.92139 (Costa Concordia 2012 grounding)).[4][5] A 53-metre (174 ft) long gash was made in the port side hull, along 3 compartments of the engine room (deck 0); power to the engines and ship services was cut off. Taking on water, the vessel started to list to port. 24 minutes later, strong winds pushed the vessel back towards the island. The water in the ship poured into the starboard side of the ship, causing it to reverse list to starboard.

Costa Concordia after dawn with lifeboats at shore.

Without power, the ship drifted astern but was now listing heavily to starboard.[7][23] Costa Concordia drifted back and grounded near shore, then partly capsized onto her starboard side, in an unsteady position on a rocky underwater ledge. Almost half of the ship remained above water, but it was in danger of sinking completely into a trough 70 metres (230 ft) deep.[24]

She was carrying 3,229 passengers and 1,023 crew members,[25][26] all but 32 of whom were rescued; as of 22 March 2012, 30 bodies had been found, with two people known to be missing[27][28] and presumed dead.[29] There may have been other people not listed on board.[30] The search for bodies was canceled at the end of January[31] and resumed after the parbuckling maneuver in September 2013, after which additional remains have been found.[32] On September 26, 2013, remains were found on deck 4, and were reported as being the two passengers reported as missing.[33] The following day the remains were found not to be from the missing passengers.[34] In October 2013, the body of one of the missing passengers was found and confirmed to be that of Maria Grazia Trecarichi. Scuba divers had discovered her body in an advanced state of decay, near the third deck of the salvaged ship.[35]

An investigation focused on shortcomings in the procedures followed by the crew and the actions of the Italian captain, who allegedly left the ship prematurely.[5][36] About 300 passengers were left on board, most of whom were rescued by helicopter or motorboats in the area.[36]

Salvage[edit]

Costa Concordia salvage operation in progress.

An initial assessment by salvage expert Smit International estimated that the removal of Costa Concordia and her 2,380 tonnes of fuel[36][37] could take up to 10 months.[38] Smit advised that the ship had been damaged beyond the hope of economical repair and recommended it be written off as a constructive total loss. Smit was soon contracted to initially remove only Concordia's fuel.

During the fuel removal operation Smit reported that the ship had shifted 60 cm (24 in) in the 13 months since her grounding[29] but that there was no immediate prospect of her breaking up or sinking deeper.[29] Removal of the fuel from the various fuel tanks distributed throughout the ship was completed in March 2012, later than Smit's initial estimates. This cleared the way for the making of arrangements for the ultimate removal and salvaging/scrapping of the ship itself.

It was announced in May 2012 that the American salvaging firm Titan Salvage and Italian underwater construction firm Micoperi had won the salvage contracts following a competitive tender.[39] The expected cost of their salvaging plan, which comes to more than $300 million USD, makes it the most expensive salvage operation ever. The Titan/ Micoperi salvaging plan includes the following operations:[40]

  • Secure the hull to the land using steel cables, to stop her falling deeper [41]
  • Build a horizontal underwater platform below the ship
  • Attach airtight tanks, called sponsons, to the port side of the hull
  • Bring the hull to vertical, by winching (or parbuckling) the hull onto the platform
  • Attach sponsons to the starboard side of the hull
  • Refloat the hull and tanks
  • Recovery tow to an Italian port

On 17 September 2013 Costa Concordia was brought to a vertical position through a parbuckling procedure.[42][43] The cost for salvaging the ship increased to $799 million.[44] In addition, the ship had suffered severe hull deformations in two places. Titan Salvage, the company directing the salvage operations, has estimated that the next phase of the salvage operation should be completed by early summer, 2014. After this "floating" operation, the ship will be towed to a salvage yard on the Italian mainland for scrapping or "breaking".[45]

On 14 July 2014 work commenced to refloat Costa Concordia in preparation for towing. [46] At this point the costs had risen to 1 billion euros. Including tow cost, 100 million for the ship to be broken up for scrap and the cost of repairing damage to Giglio island, the estimated final cost is expected to be 1.5 billion euros ($2 billion).[47][48]

Culture and media[edit]

In 2010, Costa Concordia provided the decadent setting for Jean-Luc Godard's film Socialisme.[49]

A documentary broadcast in the United Kingdom, titled Terror at Sea: The Sinking of the Costa Concordia, and another first broadcast on 11 April 2012 on Channel 4, titled The Sinking of the Concordia: Caught on Camera, featured footage recorded by the passengers and crew.

Furthermore, a documentary, titled Cruise Ship Disaster: Inside the Concordia, was first broadcast on the Discovery Channel, CNN Presents: Cruise to Disaster, first broadcast by CNN on 14 July 2012,[50] and another, titled Inside Costa Concordia: Voices of Disaster, was first broadcast by the National Geographic Channel.[51] The season 39 Nova episode "Why Ships Sink" discusses the sinking of Costa Concordia.[52] ABC's 20/20 aired a special on the sinking and interviews with the survivors on 15 February 2013, following the engine fire on Carnival Triumph. 12 days later the generator room of Costa Allegra was on fire so the ship was unable return to service. The ship was beached at Aliaga, Turkey, for scrapping.[53]

The wreckage of Costa Concordia also featured in Paolo Sorrentino's 2013 film The Great Beauty. [54]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Eva Herzigova to be the Godmother of Costa Concordia". freesun.be. 21 June 2006. Retrieved 20 January 2012. 
  2. ^ "Costa Concordia (9320544)". Leonardo Info. Registro Italiano Navale. https://www.leonardoinfo.com/leonardoInfo/LeoInfoLogInExternalServlet?ImoNum=9320544. Retrieved 16 October 2012.
  3. ^ "Malta on new liner's itinerary". The Times of Malta. 19 September 2005. Archived from the original on 15 January 2012. Retrieved 15 January 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Gaia Pianigiani (22 January 2012). "Costa Concordia May Have Had Unregistered Passengers". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 January 2012. 
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  6. ^ "Naufragio al Giglio, tre morti annegati Fermati comandante e primo ufficiale, Corriere de la Sera", Corriere della Sera (in Italian), 14 January 2012, retrieved 2012-12-30  Confirms that vessel was holed.
  7. ^ a b Christopher Book (2012-01-21). "The EU ignored years of expert warnings on cruise ship safety". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2012-12-30.  Discusses stability issue when large modern ships are holed. Explains heeling first in direction of hole, then in opposite direction.
  8. ^ PIANIGIANI, GAIA (13 May 2014). "Aging Tuscan Port Vies to Dismantle Costa Concordia". NYTimes. Retrieved 20 May 2014. 
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  11. ^ a b "M/S Costa Concordia". Fakta om Fartyg (in Swedish). Retrieved 14 January 2012. 
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  13. ^ Levy, Megan (16 January 2012). "Cursed Concordia 'born bad, ended up worse'". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 17 January 2012. 
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  36. ^ a b c Jones, Gavin; Denti, Antonio (15 January 2012). "Two more bodies found on ship, three people rescued". Reuters. Retrieved 24 February 2012. 
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  45. ^ Barbie Latza Nadeau (17 September 2013). "Costa Concordia salvage: Island celebrations and relief". CNN. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
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  47. ^ Costa Concordia capsizing costs over $2 billion for owners Maria Sheahan, Reuters.com, July 6, 2014
  48. ^ Costa Concordia owner faces $2 billion in costs George Hatcher, Disaster at Sea blog, July 9, 2014
  49. ^ Brooks, Xan (15 January 2012). "Costa Concordia provides setting for a 2010 Jean-Luc Godard film". The Guardian. Retrieved 16 January 2012. 
  50. ^ "CNN Presents: Cruise to Disaster", CNN, retrieved 2013-06-27 
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  52. ^ Challis, J. (2012), "Nova: Why Ships Sink", Nova (PBS, WGBH Educational Foundation), retrieved 2012-12-31 
  53. ^ Lateef Mungin and Steve Almasy (15 February 2013). "Crippled cruise ship returns; passengers happy to be back". CNN. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  54. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/09/movies/paolo-sorrentinos-great-beauty-explores-italys-decline.html?_r=0

External links[edit]