The Costa Concordia cruise ship is now floating for the first time since running aground off the coast of Italy more than 2½ years ago, and a local company played a role in uprighting the ship.
VideoRay, a Pottstown, Montgomery County-based company, put its remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) to work, recording more than 45,000 hours of underwater video during the complex salvage operation.
The ROVs observed every minute of diving, directing operations and surveying and inspecting the wreck from below the water's surface, the company said.
Initial surveillance by the ROVs showed no visible cracks or fissures on the bottom of the ship, which had been a concern because repairs would have delayed the operation.
VideoRay's president, Scott Bentley, traveled to Italy last week to observe and assist in the salvage project.
Since his company's founding in 1999, more than 3,000 VideoRay ROVs have been delivered to a wide range of customers around the world.
The ROVs also helped in the search for victims of a ferry sinking in South Korea in April, however, the Costa Concordia operation in Italy is the largest use of the company's ROVs, Bentley said.
The project isn't complete yet. The next step is to raise the ship deck by deck so that it can be towed 150 miles to Genoa, where it will be dismantled.
The vessel ran aground in 2012 with more than 4,200 passengers aboard. Thirty-two people were killed, including a 33-year-old waiter from India whose remains have not been found.
Francesco Schettino, the Concordia's captain, is on trial on charges of manslaughter, causing a maritime disaster and abandoning ship with passengers still on board. He denies wrongdoing.