The following is the text of a news release from the Discovery Channel:
(LOS ANGELES) — What does it take to lift a ship bigger than the Titanic? On January 13, 2012, the Costa Concordia — one of the largest and most luxurious cruise ships ever built — ran aground off the coast of Italy leaving 32 people dead. The hulking vessel still remains where it first capsized – becoming a painful eyesore for locals as well as a growing environmental hazard.
Now Discovery Channel returns to the scene of the shipwreck with INSIDE RAISING THE CONCORDIA, premiering Friday, September 20, at 10 PM E/P, to capture the major salvage operation taking place and reveal the inside story told by the elite team of engineers tasked with the seemingly impossible — rotating the massive ship into an upright position and eventually removing it from the sea. The special will also air on Discovery Channel in more than 220 countries and territories. Beginning Wednesday, viewers will be able to watch never-before-seen, time-lapse footage of the ship’s recovery at Discovery.com/RaisingTheConcordia.
“In terms of the size of the operation basically you could take all the other salvage operations I’ve been involved in and times them by ten,” said Nick Sloane, the project’s senior salvage master. “It’s the biggest salvage operation by a long way.”
Most salvage jobs are relatively simple — where the ship is removed or just destroyed. However, breaking up the Costa Concordia onsite would be an environmental catastrophe. Concordia’s owners needed a revolutionary solution. That’s when they turned to Titan Marine, an outfit with a reputation for radical salvage operations.
In this 1-hour special, Discovery will show how the engineers prepped for the job, which included building colossal barges complete with a hospital, gym and living quarters for the hundreds of divers and specialists. It will also reveal the step-by-step process involved with pulling the ship upright – a process known as parbuckling – and how they plan to refloat it before finally being towed away to be scrapped.
Tune in to see the incredible story of Costa Concordia as the salvage team prepares for the largest refloat in history. The special will also include insiders’ accounts of what really went down in one of the cruise line industry’s biggest disasters.
INSIDE RAISING THE CONCORDIA is produced for Discovery Channel by Darlow Smithson Productions. Howard Swartz serves as executive producer for Discovery. To learn more, go to www.discovery.com, on Facebook at Facebook.com/discovery and on Twitter @Discovery.