Here’s The Ingenious $400 Million Plan To Deal With The Wrecked Costa Concordia

costa concordia salvage operation 60 minutes

[credit provider=”CBS News” url=”http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=50137223n”]

In January, the cruise ship Costa Concordia struck a rock of the shore of Isola del Giglio, in the Mediterranean.30 people on board the largest passenger wreck of all time lost their lives; two are still missing. Nearly a year later, the wreck is still sitting off the Italian coast, mostly submerged.

Because the Costa Concordia is in a nationally protected marine park and coral reef, it must be removed from the area before it can be dismantled, posing countless difficulties.

In a report on the efforts to remove the wreck, 60 Minutes’ Leslie Stahl visited the site and recounted the remarkable salvage operation, which has a $400 million price tag.

Not only is it the riskiest, most complicated, and most expensive salvage plan ever undertaken, but no one is sure if it will work.

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title=”The ship weighs 60,000 tons and is filled with seawater.”
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[slide
permalink=”it-is-sitting-on-two-underwater-mountain-peaks-65-percent-of-it-is-below-the-surface-2″
title=”It is sitting on two underwater mountain peaks. 65 per cent of it is below the surface.”
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title=”The wreck is an official crime scene.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-operation-which-will-cost-about-400-million-is-being-paid-for-by-insurance-companies-4″
title=”The operation, which will cost about $400 million, is being paid for by insurance companies.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-plan-is-to-rotate-the-ship-upright-and-onto-an-underwater-platform-5″
title=”The plan is to rotate the ship upright, and onto an underwater platform.”
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[slide
permalink=”then-it-will-float-up-leaving-more-of-its-structure-above-the-surface-6″
title=”Then it will float up, leaving more of its structure above the surface.”
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[slide
permalink=”and-it-can-be-towed-away-7″
title=”And it can be towed away.”
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[slide
permalink=”before-getting-on-the-inclined-ship-workers-must-take-a-4-day-mountain-climbing-course-8″
title=”Before getting on the inclined ship, workers must take a 4-day mountain climbing course.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-underwater-platform-is-being-built-in-northern-italy-the-steel-must-be-transported-through-the-adriatic-sea-around-the-boot-of-italy-and-up-to-the-wreck-9″
title=”The underwater platform is being built in northern Italy. The steel must be transported through the Adriatic Sea, around the boot of Italy, and up to the wreck.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-steel-that-makes-it-up-weighs-three-times-as-much-as-the-eiffel-tower-it-will-be-embedded-in-the-seafloor-10″
title=”The steel that makes it up weighs three times as much as the Eiffel Tower. It will be embedded in the seafloor.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-drill-bit-will-be-enclosed-in-a-large-tube-to-keep-debris-from-contaminating-the-protected-area-11″
title=”The drill bit will be enclosed in a large tube, to keep debris from contaminating the protected area.”
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[slide
permalink=”for-now-the-ship-is-held-in-place-by-steel-cables-but-strong-storms-could-dislodge-it-then-it-would-sink-to-the-seafloor-making-the-salvage-operation-near-impossible-12″
title=”For now, the ship is held in place by steel cables, but strong storms could dislodge it. Then it would sink to the seafloor, making the salvage operation near impossible.”
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[slide
permalink=”111-salvage-divers-are-currently-working-on-the-salvage-operation-around-the-clock-in-45-minute-shifts-they-attached-the-cables-holding-the-ship-where-it-is-13″
title=”111 salvage divers are currently working on the salvage operation around the clock, in 45-minute shifts. They attached the cables holding the ship where it is.”
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[slide
permalink=”they-all-live-in-floating-barracks-next-to-the-wreck-site-14″
title=”They all live in floating barracks, next to the wreck site.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50cf5599eab8eadf4f00001c”
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[slide
permalink=”how-exactly-will-workers-rotate-costa-concordia-onto-the-platform-the-plan-essentially-involves-welding-a-new-ship-onto-the-shipwreck-stahl-reports-15″
title=”How exactly will workers rotate Costa Concordia onto the platform? The plan essentially involves “weld[ing] a new ship onto the shipwreck,” Stahl reports.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50cf4cf4ecad041459000023″
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[slide
permalink=”that-new-ship-will-consist-of-huge-hollow-steel-boxes-16″
title=”That new “ship” will consist of huge, hollow steel boxes.”
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[slide
permalink=”called-sponsons-the-biggest-are-11-stories-tall-17″
title=”Called sponsons, the biggest are 11 stories tall.”
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[slide
permalink=”9-will-be-welded-onto-the-exposed-side-of-the-ship-with-just-2-inches-between-them-18″
title=”9 will be welded onto the exposed side of the ship, with just 2 inches between them.”
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[slide
permalink=”then-steel-cables-will-connect-the-sponsons-to-the-steel-platform-19″
title=”Then steel cables will connect the sponsons to the steel platform.”
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[slide
permalink=”hydraulic-pulleys-will-pull-the-costa-concordia-upright-20″
title=”Hydraulic pulleys will pull the ‘Costa Concordia’ upright.”
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[slide
permalink=”more-sponsons-will-be-welded-onto-the-other-side-of-the-ship-21″
title=”More sponsons will be welded onto the other side of the ship.”
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[slide
permalink=”once-the-ship-is-upright-the-extra-buoyancy-should-make-it-float-22″
title=”Once the ship is upright, the extra buoyancy should make it float.”
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[slide
permalink=”the-ship-will-be-floated-next-summer-once-the-process-begins-there-is-no-way-to-stop-it-even-if-something-goes-wrong-23″
title=”The ship will be floated next summer. Once the process begins, there is no way to stop it, even if something goes wrong.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50cf55c5ecad04f96a000010″
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[slide
permalink=”the-backup-plan-is-to-break-it-up-where-it-lies-at-a-huge-cost-to-the-local-environment-24″
title=”The backup plan is to break it up where it lies, at a huge cost to the local environment.”
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image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50cf4d0669beddfe61000005″
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[slide
permalink=”if-all-goes-well-the-costa-concordia-will-be-cut-up-for-scrap-far-from-giglio-it-is-so-large-the-process-will-take-2-years-25″
title=”If all goes well, the ‘Costa Concordia’ will be cut up for scrap, far from Giglio. It is so large, the process will take 2 years.”
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[slide
permalink=”looking-for-a-boat-thats-still-at-sea-26″
title=”Looking for a boat that’s still at sea?”
content=”YACHT OF THE WEEK: Take The Family Cruising On The $1.85 Million ‘Lady Laura’ >
image=”http://static.businessinsider.com/image/50cf4dd4eab8ea203d00000c”
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