POMPANO BEACH, Fla., April 23 (UPI) -- A Florida salvage company will attempt to free the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia, which ran aground off Italy, killing 32 passengers and crew members.
Titan Salvage, based in Pompano Beach, Fla., was awarded the $288 million contract to lift the 950-foot ship from its perch on a reef, re-float it and tow it to an Italian port, the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported Monday, describing the effort as one of the toughest and most-closely watched salvage operations in maritime history.
"This is going to be a monster of engineering," said Gage Parrot, 43, whose late father founded Titan Salvage. "I don't think anyone has ever tried to do anything more complicated than this."
Parrot, who has spent the last 17 years in the family business, added that his father "would be extremely proud of what's going on with Titan and to see the legacy he created."
The company has undertaken complex tasks in the past. In the removal of the sunken freighter New Carissa from the coast of Oregon, Titan Salvage constructed a 900-foot ship-to-shore cable car and trained its crew in rope climbing to disassemble the ship, the newspaper said.
The Costa Concordia project, subject to approval by authorities in Italy and to be performed with the Italian company Microperi, should begin in a month and take about a year to complete, the company said. The ship ran aground Jan. 13 on a reef off the Italian island of Giglio.