The Costa Concordia cruise ship that ran aground aground on rocks off the Isola del Giglio Island, Italy, has been photographed from almost every angle: on the Internet you can find pictures showing the luxury cruise ship as it lies half-submerged on its side, taken by scuba divers, by the crew members of the helicopters involved in the rescue operations, as well as by satellites.
However, the image below, is the first one taken by a fast jet, I’ve seen online so far.
It was taken by Raffaele Beltrame from a Eurofighter Typhoon (the one in the picture is the combat plane’s canard).
The following pictures were taken by Giovanni Maduli in Civitavecchia harbour, where an Agusta Westland AW139 belonging to the Protezione Civile (Italian Civil Protection) landed on Feb. 24, 2012.
Although is a matter of perspective, it’s somehow funny that the Government helicopter seems to have been parked in a no-parking zone in the picture below.
Above images: Giovanni Maduli
The chopper, registered I-DPCA, a registration carried in the past by a service’s A109AII, is used for reconnaissance and transport missions. It was also spotted at Isola del Giglio, where it took part to the rescue efforts following the disaster of Costa Concordia.
On Mar. 8, 2012, even the Italian Air Force received its first of 10 AW139s. Designated HH-139A the medium twin engine helicopter will replace the ageing AB-212 and HH-3F in the search and rescue role across the nation and complement the HH-101 “Caesar”, that will be used in the C-SAR (Combat SAR) role in the future.
The Italian HH-139A is the first example of the military variant of the AW139 and includes several improvements: a brand new heavy duty landing gear, secure communications suite, integrated defensive aids suite, hoist, search light, wire cutters, nose mounted FLIR, cargo hook, loudspeaker system and emergency floatation gear.
The Indian Navy has deployed one Dornier to Seychelles under a government to government treaty. The patrol aircraft is stationed at Victoria, is operated for Exclusive Economic Zone surveillance and anti-piracy patrols by Indian aircrew in response to requirement projected by the Seychellois government.
According to this press release, the airplane will fill the gap until a new Dornier under manufacture at Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, India, is handed over to the Seychelles government.
Here’s an image of an Indian Navy Do.228.
In the meanwhile, helicopters have been used to deliver food and satellite phones on board.
Little more than a month since the Costa Concordia ran aground on rocks off the Isola del Giglio Island, Italy, another Costa cruise ship is facing an emergency. The Costa Allegra (188 meters long, 28,597 tonnes, 399 cabins, capacity of 1,400 pax) is adrift with 1,049 people on board, in the dark, about 250 miles southwest of the Seychelles, in the Indian Ocean.
Image credit: AP Photo/Tano Pecoraro
The ship had left Madagascar on Saturday and was due to reach Mahe, in the Seychelles, on Tuesday. Following a fire (that has been extinguished), the ship is immobilized, with no electric lights and emergency batteries being used to keep essential services going. Although there’s no immediate danger for the people on board, all passengers and part of the crew are at the muster stations.
Merchant ships and tug boats have been directed to the rescue of the liner but the first asset to reach the stranded ship has been an unspecified maritime patrol aircraft belonging to the Seychelles Islands Development Company & Coast Guard launched by Seychelles International airport.
The aircraft has overflown the Costa Allegra assessing the status of the ship and relaying it to the Coast Guard and other ships involved in the rescue operation.
Mahe also hosts a U.S. drone detachment involved in the anti-piracy activities in the Horn of Africa (and are believed to launch air strikes against terrorist camps in the region): indeed, the Costa Allegra is adrift in an extremely dangerous waters, where the risk of pirate skiff attacks is ranked high.
For this reason, among the people on board the ship there are also Italian Navy armed guards: a Military Security Team is embarked on all Italian ships in seas under threat of pirates. A standard practice on all ships these days, even if Somali pirates have never hijacked cruise ships in the area.
Two Italian Navy riflemen belonging to the San Marco Battalion, are currently under custody in India pending the investigation about the alleged killing of two Indian fishermen 30 miles off the southern Indian coast on Feb. 15.
For instance, some reported that the empty ship weighted as 110 Boeing B747s (which version?) while others said that the luxury cruise ship was slightly shorter than USS Nimitz (958ft/292 mt of the Concordia vs 1,092 ft/333 mt of the CVN-68).
In 2008, while visiting the Italian aircraft carrier Cavour, I had the opportunity to take some photographs of the Costa Concordia docked at Civitavecchia harbor next to the warship. Although they were taken from a certain distance the pictures below give an idea of the size of the cruise ship in relation to the size of the Italian Navy flagship (800ft/244 m) destined to be equipped with the F-35Bs (provided they will be able to survive the cuts of the Defense budget review).
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