IT’S BEEN MORE than a year since the cruise ship Costa Concordia struck a reef off the shore of Isola del Giglio, in the Mediterranean, leading to a wreck that cost 30 passengers their lives.
Yet the enormous ship is still sitting off the Italian coast, mostly submerged, in the middle of a nationally protected marine park and coral reef.
The ingenious salvage operation —called the “Parbuckling Project” — involves building a series of underwater platforms onto which the Costa Concordia will be lifted upright (parbuckled), then floated up and towed away.
It is now fully underway: The underwater platform has been partly installed, and more than a third of the floatation devices that will hopefully lift the ship out of the sea have been filled and put in position.
These photos reveal how the salvage operation — the riskiest, most complicated, and most expensive ever undertaken — is going so far.