Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Floats Again, After 2 Years

Posted: July 15, 2014  |  By: Bill Chappell [NPR]

More than two years after it ran aground off the Italian coast, the cruise ship Costa Condordia is floating again. Salvage workers managed that feat Monday by expelling water from large caissons, the pontoons that are attached to its sides.

"Six hours after the refloating began, the 115,000-ton vessel had cleared its custom-made platform by one meter," reports NPR's Sylvia Poggioli. "The ship is to be raised another meter today. Then it will be towed 90 feet eastward and anchored to the seabed and land with chains and cables."

The initial moments of the refloating were seen as the most dangerous, as it wasn't known if the hull could maintain its integrity. Today marks another step in the largest maritime salvage operation in history.

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