Discovery Channel special focuses on Costa Concordia

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The Discovery Channel will air a special this week on salvaging the Costa Concordia, broadcasting the documentary in more than 220 countries and territories around the world.

In January 2012, the Concordia ran aground, leaving 32 people dead. The vessel remains on Italy’s coast, where long-planned salvage efforts began this week. The ship is the size of three football fields and twice the size of the Titanic.

Discovery Channel returns to the scene of the shipwreck with “Inside Raising the Concordia,” set to premiere on Friday at 10 p.m. Eastern and Pacific, to capture the major salvage operation taking place and reveal the inside story told by the team of engineers tasked with rotating the massive ship into an upright position and eventually removing it from the sea.

Beginning today, viewers will be able to watch never-before-seen, time-lapse footage of the ship’s recovery online, according to the network.

“In terms of the size of the operation basically you could take all the other salvage operations I’ve been involved in and times them by 10,” Nick Sloane, the project’s senior salvage master, said in a statement. “It’s the biggest salvage operation by a long way.”

The one-hour special will show how engineers prepared for the job, which included building colossal barges complete with a hospital, gym and living quarters for hundreds of divers and specialists. It also will reveal the step-by-step process involved in pulling the ship upright — a process known as parbuckling — and how they plan to refloat it before it is towed away to be scrapped.

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