Huge salvage operation to turn the Costa Concordia

More than two years after the cruise ship Costa Concordia capsized after hitting a rock near the Italian island of Giglio, killing 32 people and prompting the evacuation of 4,000, one of the greatest marine salvage operations in history is to be undertaken.

Workers will attempt to rotate, or "panbuckle" the 951-foot vessel next week.

The operation is expected to take between 8-10 hours in which the ship will be rolled from the seabed onto underwater platforms.

The Associated Press reports the exact date depends on calm seas, but Civil Protection Commissioner Franco Gabrielli told Reuters Television that Monday was likely.

As part of the operation estimated to cost at least $300 million, divers have pumped 18,000 tons of cement into bags below the ship to support it and prevent it from breaking up.

A buoyancy device acting "like a neck brace for an injured patient" will hold together the ship's bow, and fishing nets will catch debris as it rises from beneath the ship, said Nicholas Sloane, senior salvage master at Titan Salvage, the company in charge of the operation, to Reuters Television.

The Costa Concordia's captain, Francesco Schettino, is currently on trial for manslaughter and causing the loss of the ship.

CBS News graphic shows how the Costa Concordia would be pumped with air to help make it level, prior to a tug boat towing it away.

CBS News graphic shows the precarious position of the Costa Concordia on a rock ledge.

  • Jessica Hartogs On Twitter»

    Jessica Hartogs is a news editor for You can find her on Twitter: @jessicahartogs

The all new
CBS News App for Android® for iPad® for iPhone®
Fully redesigned. Featuring CBSN, 24/7 live news. Get the App