After a three-hour delay caused by strong thunderstorms, the Costa Concordia salvage operation began Monday morning near the island of Giglio off the coast of Italy.
The ship ran aground and tipped over in January 2012, killing 32 of the 4,200 people on board.
Engineer Sergio Girotto said getting the shop right-side up could take two days but that he expects the salvage operation to take 12 hours.
“I don’t think we will continue into the night,” he said. “After we start pulling, we should see something.”
By midday, crews raised the ship six to 10 feet, Girotto said.
Crews will have to sink parts of it deeper underwater to salvage it, according to CNN. The ship will be pulled off the seabed and rotated on to huge platforms below the water level. The process is known as parbuckling. The Costa Concordia, which weighs 114,000 tons, is the largest ship to be parbuckled.
In January, the ship’s captain said he regretted nothing about the wreck. Francesco Schettino was of multiple manslaughter, causing the shipwreck, and abandoning ship. He said the hardest thing about the situation is that people believe he did nothing to help after the wreck.
“Everybody believes that I was escaping from the sinking ship,” he said. Schettino also said he “tried to make an effort to make sure I was the last one to leave the ship — from the sinking side.”
Francesco Schettino said he was forced to share authority with lesser officers who were really to blame for the Costa Concordia shipwreck.
“I regret that I was trusting (that officer). I was trusting him before the accident, and also after the accident,” he said. “And I have been living with these things inside me. I will never trust anyone anymore because this was a very deadly mistake.”
The total cost of the Costa Concordia salvage operation is at least €600m ($800 million USD).