Costa Concordia ready to be raised

Residents on the Italian island, Giglio, will finally be able to look out their windows without seeing the remains of a shipwreck, as salvage crew prepare to raise the Costa Concordia next month.

The ship has been left kneeling on its side since January last year, when it crashed into rocks just off the Tuscan island killing 32 of the 4,229 passengers on board.

Although declining to offer an exact date for the removal, salvage director Franco Gabrielli said if things go according to plan, the vessel will be raised and rotated in September this year, The Huffington Post reported.

As part of the removal plan, salvage crew will rotate the 114,500-ton vessel to expose and drain the side currently underwater.

The ship will then be towed away and scrapped at a yet-to-be determined port.

The removal of the ship has been postponed twice due to technical difficulties, and according to the director the rotation needs to take place in September at the latest because bad weather later in the year could cause further delays.

Meanwhile, since the accident Giglio tourist numbers have fallen, with a 15 percent drop in visitors this season compared to the summer before the crash.

Giglio mayor Sergio Ortelli said he was confident that tourism to the island would return to normal after the final phase of the operation was completed.

See the original article on: Huffington Post