Julian Bray writes: Its not the last voyage anyone ever wanted, but the striken former cruise ship the Costa Concordia has after a four day final leg entered its home port of Genoa. The hulk supported by air and bouyancy tanks welded to each side of its shattered hull; the next few weeks, will see them removed, as the wreck is broken down in dry dock for scrap, and all parts either recycled or melted down.
It is possible that some of the metals may find their way into the fabric of a new cruise ship, beer cans, or even the next generation of motor cars. The salvage operation, the largest of its kind, has had its own drawbacks and one person is reported to have lost his life during the process. There also remains a body of a crew member on board, which will be located and removed before the wreck is metodically torn up.
Meanwhile a new battle is brewing on the Island of Giglio as seafront Bar & Restaurant owners want the concrete and steel support cradle bolted to the seabed by salvagers for the wrecked Costa Concordia, to remain in place as a diving site, but the contractors are already mandated to remove all traces of the ship.
JULIAN BRAY, Journalist, Broadcaster, Aviation Security &Ops,Travel/Cruise Industry Expert, EQUITY, NUJ UK Tel: 01733 345581 (HOME ISDN NEW NUMBER 01733 345020) e&oe