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Costa Concordia Salvage Operation

Dyneema®'s role in salvaging the Costa Concordia

03 October 2013 - For 19 long hours, the world looked on in awe as millimeter by millimeter the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia was turned upright, just off the Italian island of Gigli, where it had lain for over 18 months. It was a painstaking operation made more so by the environmental implications should something go wrong. Thankfully, the operation, technically known as “parbuckling” and said to be the biggest of its kind ever undertaken, was a success, and the ship now stands upright.

Ongoing role in Costa Concordia salvage

But while the reporters and TV crews have left, the work by Titan Salvage and Micoperi to salvage the vessel goes on. With the ship now resting on five metal platforms on the sea bed, the challenge, with winter approaching, is to keep it in place while more sponsons, or metal boxes, are attached to the ship’s sides so it can be then refloated and towed to its final destination, next spring. And just as before, ropes made with Dyneema® will continue to play a vital role. 

Prior to the successful parbuckling operation, the team in charge of salvaging the Costa Concordia had selected Dextron® 12 Plus ropes made with Dyneema® fiber to hold the vessel in place and prevent it sliding into deeper waters. The lines, designed and manufactured by Norwegian specialist OTS, more than did their job. According to Captain Nicholas Sloane, Senior Salvage Master on the Costa Concordia Removal Project, the Dextron® 12 Plus ropes made with Dyneema® saved many days in installing the subsea hold-back system and minmized the physical efforts required of the dive team. They also didn’t show any elasticity and maintained the required strength while at the same time helping to preserve the precious marine environment.

Proven record in maritime and offshore lines

Like the salvage operation as a whole, the story of OTS and DSM Dyneema’s involvement in the operation is not yet over as the same ropes will continue to be used to hold the ship in place over the coming months. There is little doubt that they will be up to the task as lines made with Dyneema® have a proven track record in maritime and offshore operations, including salvage lines. However, until the Costa Concordia is finally and safely removed, it will remain a tense operation. We wish the salvage team the best of luck in this phase, too.

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