GENOA Italy — The wrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner limped into its last port on Sunday, when it was towed to the northern Italian city of Genoa to be broken up for scrap, two-and-a-half years after running aground and sinking with the loss of 32 lives. After a four-day journey from the Tuscan island of Giglio, where it sank on Jan. 13, 2012, the 114,500-tonne hulk was maneuvered into place and secured at the conclusion of one of the largest and most complex maritime salvages ever attempted.
Prime Minister Matteo Renzi flew to Genoa to hail the completion of the operation which restored some pride to Italy after a disaster that was widely interpreted as a national humiliation as well as a human tragedy.
In contrast to the night when the Concordia ran aground and capsized during a display sometimes performed by cruise ships known as a "salute", the salvage operation has been a resounding technical success. After hours of preparation, dockworkers fixed the wreck in place in the industrial port of Voltri, just outside the main harbor in Genoa. The overall salvage effort is expected to cost Carnival Corp, owner of the ship's operator, Costa Cruises and its insurers more than $2.14 billion.
First published July 27 2014, 1:34 AM