Raising the Concordia: A 'perfect' operation

Wrecked cruise ship successfully hoisted upright.

With a huge platform bolted to the sea bed far below the thunderstorm which raged upon the water's surface, engineers have spent 19 hours righting the ill-fated Costa Concordia cruise ship.

The "parbuckling" winching operation began at 9:00am on Monday, and was the largest such salvage feat of its kind. At a cost of some $800 million, the stricken liner was hauled upright onto the sea-bed with a series of huge jacks and cables.

"I think the whole team is proud of what they achieved, because a lot of people didn't think it could be done," said salvage master Nick Sloane.

Franco Porcellacchia, project manager with the Concordia's owner, Costa Crociere SpA, declared it "a perfect operation", with no environmental spill yet detected.

The Concordia crashed a into bank off Giglio Island on January 13, 2012, leaving 30 passengers dead. The bodies of two others were never found.