Operation to raise capsized cruise ship under way

By: AP
By: AP

The anxiously awaited attempt to pull the crippled Costa Concordia upright from its side off Italy's Tuscan coast is under way.

Engineer Sergio Girotto said the lifting began at about 9 a.m. Monday, three hours late.

The delay was due to a storm that pushed back the positioning of a barge hosting a floating command room center. There, engineers using remote controls will guide a synchronized leverage system of pulleys and counterweights to delicately nudge the ship free from its rocky seabed perch.

The operation, known in nautical parlance a parbuckling, is a proven method to raise capsized vessels. But the Concordia has been described as the largest cruise ship ever to require the complex rotation.

The Concordia crashed into a reef Jan. 13, 2012, killing 32 people.

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