How salvagers plan to re-float Costa Concordia

(CBS News) It's been six months since the cruise ship Costa Concordia hit a rock and capsized near Giglio, Italy. And the ship is still there, even as the relatives of the 32 people who died in the disaster visited the island to remember their loved ones Friday.

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The cruise ship still sits where it landed on January 13 - half-submerged, just off the Tuscany coast.

Now it's salvage master Nick Sloane's job to re-float the vast ship. He told CBS News, "Being a passenger ship, she's not designed to be on her side, so we have to stabilize her as soon as possible."

The Costa Concordia has been remarkably stable so far. A jumble of deck chairs can still be seen piled by the long-empty swimming pools. But it's only resting at its front and back on rocky outcrops on the sea floor.

The salvage team is going to have to build a platform to support the entire ship, and then use cranes to ease her upright, and finally, pump air into massive steel containers welded to either side.

If the engineers' models are right, the wreck will re-float.

Then investigators can get inside and start gathering evidence.

For more on this story, watch the video in the player above.

  • Elizabeth Palmer

    Elizabeth Palmer has been a CBS News correspondent since August 2000. She has been based in London since late 2003, after having been based in Moscow (2000-03). Palmer reports primarily for the "CBS Evening News."

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