Time-Lapse Captures the Largest Maritime Salvage Operation in History

If you’ve turned on the news over the past couple of days, the name Costa Concordia probably came up a time or two. The massive 114,500-ton luxury liner crashed into the reef off the coast of Tuscany in January of 2012, where it has been sitting on its side ever since.

Yesterday, a group of 500 engineers were given the O.K. to finally begin righting the ship, and what followed was an incredible 19-hour salvage operation that the BBC was kind enough to capture in time-lapse.


What the time-lapse shows is known as a parbuckle salvage, where leverage is applied to one side of the sunken ship to turn it into an upright position. What’s special about this particular salvage is that it will go down in the record books as the largest salvage operation in maritime history.

As you can see, the salvage was a huge success. All 114,500 tons are now sitting in the correct position as engineers work to fix the ship enough so that it can be towed to a nearby port and dismantled.

(via Gizmodo)

Image credits: Collision of Costa Concordia by Rvongher.

  • Trollolololo

    and this has to do with photography in what way?

  • pgb0517

    There sure are a lot of folks who like to just dump on Petapixel any time something doesn’t strike their fancy. I’m glad Petapixel shows us interesting things and yes, this is a great example of writing with light.

  • mark

    What’s so difficult in the word “timelaps”?

  • Trollololo

    From their about page: “Our goal is to inform, educate, and inspire in all things photography-related.”

    Sure time-lapse is photography related, but there isnt really anything educational or inspirational about this. If it was a new technique, or a howto, then I could see how it would fit.

    Though, too bad the event didnt take a bit longer or they ran the time-lapse a bit longer, would have been nice to see the ship upright in the daytime light,

  • cunguez

    …Said the poster whose handle actually begins with the word troll.

  • Cathy

    Apparently, spelling

  • Sean Lucky

    Time lapse in 240p? Seriously? Goddamn BBC, it’s 2013!

  • Genkakuzai

    Sick stuff. Sort of cool they had to invent a bunch of technology to pull this one off, and did.

  • Vin Weathermon

    Some people like to hear themselves fart. I’m thinking Trollololo is one of them.

  • Cajetan Barretto

    The transition from day to night was not smooth. Looks like they just manually changed the exposure. They need to invest in the TriggerTrap dongle for bulb ramping.

  • MikeAlgar42

    My issue with this (and I’ll be honest mostly posts from DL Cade) is they are a bit patronising. I love this site, but when a sentence reads:

    ‘If you’ve turned on the news over the past couple of days, the name Costa Concordia probably came up a time or two.’

    It feels like we are idiots just hearing about this event when some of us are familiar with it since it first happened. That sentence is also pretty redundant. What does it add? Nothing. It just sounds a little patronising to me.

  • pgb0517

    You sound a little hypersensitive to me. It’s just a lead sentence, nothing more. It was written with a sense of irony or an implied “to put it mildly,” perhaps, but that’s not patronizing.

  • MikeAlgar42

    Not really. I got the intended meaning, but it seemed lazy and a bit useless. Especially considering they are paid to make these posts. It was more a musing that perhaps the tone of the posts could be improved sometimes.

  • Jamie Brightmore

    Amazing feat of engineering getting that wreak upright again. The BBC needs to drag the shutter! However, it was no doubt a rush job and a possibly a remote camera setup seeing as it was a 19hr job.

  • pgb0517

    Yeah, the lead was buried. How about: “When engineers finally got the go-ahead to perform the biggest maritime salvage operation ever, the BBC was there to document the historic event with a time-lapse video.” Then a nutgraf with backgrounder on the wreck, then on into more detail about the salvage and the video. But writing leads from the benefit of post-publication is easy. The struggle to craft a good lead is one reason I decided to be an editor, not a reporter.

  • blah

    This was as exciting as Geraldo’s Al Capone Vault opening special.. zzzzz