Costa Concordia is due to be moved into an up-right position next month in what has been described as the “biggest engineering feat” for a ship its size.
The 114,000-tonne ship still remains off the coast of Giglo after the incident in January 2012 and is set to be raised in September by US-based Titan Salvage and Italian firm Micoperi.
In a report from CBS News, the man in charge of the salvage, Nick Sloane, said two tanks have been placed on the bow of the ship ready for it to be turned alongside 11 other tanks, which will support the vessel in a similar way to a neck brace or collar on a human.
Once the rotation process, known as parbuckling, has finished the ship should rest on six steel platforms that have been placed on the sea bed. It could take up to 10 hours for the procedure to finish, with Sloane confident it will work but aware it will be a “long, nerve-racking day”.
It is hoped the ship will then be able to float with further support, after which it will be moved from its current location and dismantled at a mainland port. However, this could take another eight to 10 months, meaning the ship will stay where it is until next summer.
Two people are still missing from the incident and authorities hope they will be found in the parbuckling process. Safe deposit boxes will also be opened to return goods to passengers, while eventually the Giglo waters will be cleansed.
Five members of the ship’s crew have been found guilty of manslaughter over the incident, while Captain Schettino’s trial will resume on 23 September after a summer break.