China Wastes No Time Raising Sunken Cruise Ship

      June 08, 2015 11:44

      China began to raise the sunken cruise ship Eastern Star just four days after it sank into the Yangtze River. By contrast it took Italian authorities 20 months to get efforts underway to raise the cruise ship Costa Concordia that sank off the coast of Isola del Giglio in Italy, and Korea has to wait 17 month until salvage companies get to work on the ferry Sewol that sank off the southwest coast.

      Experts say the difference is due to the conditions of the vessels, such as the weight of the ships and underwater currents.

      The Eastern Star weighs 2,200 tons, just one-third of the weight of the Sewol (6,825 tons) and 1/50 of the Costa Concordia (114,147 tons).

      Paramilitary police in white overalls wait to recover bodies from the Eastern Star after it was raised by cranes in the Yangtze River in southern China's Hubei province Friday. /AP-Newsis

      The three wreck also differ in the manner they sank.

      Most parts of the Eastern Star and Costa Concordia did not sink but protruded out of the water. The Eastern Star sank in 15 m-deep waters and the Costa Concordia in waters just 37 m in depth.

      The Sewol has been completely submerged 44 m under the surface.

      The authoritarian nature of the Chinese government facilitated a quick decision to raise the Eastern Star just 72 hours after the accident. No efforts were made to listen to the opinions of the family members of the victims. A speedy recovery could cause bodies trapped in the vessel to be lost in the currents, but such matters were apparently not considered.

      There were no objections to raising the Costa Concordia, which killed 32 people, due to the fact that the vessel's parts could be recycled and leaving it in the ocean could worsen environmental pollution. But it took 20 months to begin raising the vessel due to its huge size and the steep slant of the underwater coastline, which required lots of prior planning.

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