By Dr Chris Ware
On 13 January 2012 Costa Concordia collided with rocks and went over on her beam ends sinking in shallow water off the Island of Giglio. What followed was both a farce and a tragedy, a Captain who left his vessel only to be ordered by the Coast Guard to return, and the deaths of thirty two people. The ships herself would be both an object of morbid fascination, as well as, potentially, an ecological time bomb. What was set in train was to be the largest salvage attempt on any vessel, it is perhaps pure coincidence that today 14th July is Bastille Day, the date set by the weather rather than any other consideration. The Concordia had previously been righted, having first had much of the fuel oil pumped out, and a platform built on the seabed on which she would rest.
With caissons and bracing wires attached she will be slowly raised 1.5 meters, as much to see if the hull, distorted and holed by collision, will stay intact, before she would be raise further and one last search made for the one member of the crew who was not found, a reminder, amongst all the engineering marvels on display, of the human cost. And what next, Costa Concordia will be towed to the mainland at a genteel 2 knots and then docked and dismantled. After all this what will remain? Perhaps some small pieces of the vessel on the seabed off the Island of Giglio; iconic pictures of a leviathan of the sea stricken as much by hubris as the rocks which tore into her hull and lives irrevocably changed.