Costa postpones Concordia salvage until spring

By Tom Stieghorst
Costa Cruises has pushed back the timetable for refloating the partly submerged Costa Concordia, saying it now won't take place until the spring of 2013.

Costa had scheduled to raise the 114,500-ton ship in January.

In a statement, Costa said more time was needed to assure that subcontractors can gather required components and materials. Also, engineers have changed drilling techniques for setting up an underwater support framework based on seabed mapping.

"It is a dynamic and evolutionary project, and the different phases have to be continuously verified and confirmed through coordination with technicians and researchers on site," Costa said.

Salvage firms hope to refloat the ship in one piece to minimize environmental damage. Once floated, the wreck will be towed to an Italian port, Costa said.

The Concordia hit a rock on Jan. 13 of this year, and overturned near the Italian island of Giglio, resulting in 32 passenger fatalities.
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