Sept. 17 - Jubilant Italian islanders and salvage teams celebrate the successful righting of the Costa Concordia wreck. Paul Chapman reports.
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It was the middle of a hard day's night when the wreck of the Costa Concordia was finally righted.
The operation that started on Monday morning off the Italian coast came to a successful conclusion early on Tuesday.
Relieved salvage workers got a heroes' welcome from residents on the island of Giglio who've lived with the wreck for 20 months.
After 19 tense hours bringing the wreck upright and off the rocky ledge where it had lain, the salvage teams were celebrating.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SALVAGE MASTER NICHOLAS SLOANE, SAYING:
"We had a plan that we thought would come together and it did. We needed a bit of luck with the weather, we had some bad weather before we started and we got some bad weather coming tomorrow but in-between you plan, you prepare and you get lucky."
This is how one of the costliest and most complicated maritime salvage operations in history came about.
A series of huge jacks pulling on cables attached to the hull slowly haul the wreck upright.
Giant tanks fitted to the other side are filled with water as the wreck moves.
Their weight helps finish the righting of the Costa Concordia for the next phase of the operation.
Despite the cost of more than $800 million so far it'll be a while before the islanders of Giglio can wave good-bye to the eyesore on their doorstep.
The wreck will stay in place for several more months until it's stabilised and refloated.
Finally it'll be towed away for scrap.
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