Parbuckling and the Costa Concordia


For those interested…I sure am there is a live streaming of the attempt to right the Costa Concordia. It seems to be going well at the moment.

The official website of the project is fascinating.

The technique used is called parbuckling.

Parbuckle salvage, or parbuckling, is the righting of a sunken vessel by applying leverage to rotate the vessel into an upright position from one where it is either on its side or fully inverted. A common operation with smaller watercraft, parbuckling has been used successfully to right large vessels. USS Oklahoma (BB-37) was rotated nearly 180 degrees to upright after being sunk in the attack on Pearl HarborTH, and the MS Costa Concordia is being parbuckled off the west coast of Italy. 

A major concern during salvage is to prevent the rotational torque from becoming a transverse force moving the ship sideways. USS Utah (BB-31), lost like the Oklahoma in the Pearl Harbor attack, was meant to be recovered by a similar rotation after the Oklahoma. As the Utah was rotated, however, its hull did not catch on the harbor bottom, and the vessel slid towards Ford Island. The Utah recovery effort was abandoned.

The Telegraph has a handy infographic:



I love big engineering projects, they are fascinating and amazing. I can’t wait to see the inevitable National Geographic doco about it all.


Do you want:

  • Ad-free access?
  • Access to our very popular daily crossword?
  • Access to daily sudoku?
  • Access to Incite Politics magazine articles?
  • Access to podcasts?
  • Access to political polls?

Our subscribers’ financial support is the reason why we have been able to offer our latest service; Audio blogs. 

Click Here  to support us and watch the number of services grow.