Costa Concordia still an eyesore even right side up

(CBS News) GIGLIO, Italy -- Seen from above, it still looks like 950 filthy feet of trouble. The Costa Concordia, even right-side-up, it is a scum-covered ghost ship.

The massive dent where she capsized against the rocks looks like a giant locomotive ran into the side of an immense bus.

The damaged Costa Concordia cruise ship
CBS

Doors of cabins where the terror struck still swing in the waves. A floating palace of leisure, turned into a death trap.

The operation to roll her over may look simple in time-lapse images. It was anything but. This all took 19 hours, almost twice as long as it was supposed to.

Watch: Costa Concordia pulled completed upright

It wasn't until four a.m. local time that ships' horns and cheering betrayed the sense of relief that the operation was over.

Nick Sloane is the man who ran the job.

Nick Sloane headed the job
CBSNews

"I think we need to get some sleep but we'll have a quick beer and then maybe tomorrow we will have a barbeque," Sloane said when the job was done.

Instead for Sloane this turned into a day to get over the high anxiety of the operation.

"People got more and more nervous," Sloane said. "It got quieter and quieter inside the operations room and I guess they were waiting for something to go bang. Then she came up off the reef."

"She just rolled over," he said.

The Italian authorities have now taken control of the ship. Thirty-two people died here and authorities still have to search for the bodies of the two victims who have never been found.

A broken ship sitting on its bottom is better than a broken ship lying on its side, but it's still a broken ship. It's still an eyesore, and it's still an environmental disaster waiting to happen. They've got to get this wreck out of here and that could be as difficult as it was to flip her over.

People watch the anxiety-filled operation

Things won't get back to normal on this beautiful stretch of sea and islands until there's nothing left of the Costa Concordia, but a bad memory.


  • Mark Phillips

    Mark Phillips returned to the CBS News London bureau as a correspondent in 1993. He has covered many major stories since then, including the war in the Balkans, the death of Princess Diana and the weapons inspection conflicts in Iraq.

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