How to right a capsized ship

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Photo taken on June 5, 2015 shows the capsized cruise ship Eastern Star being hoisted in the section of Jianli on the Yangtze River, central China's Hubei Province. The cruise ship that capsized in the Yangtze River on Monday night carrying 456 people is being hoisted from the river after rescuers righted it on Friday morning. (Xinhua/Bai Yu) Photo taken on June 5, 2015 shows the capsized cruise ship Eastern Star being hoisted in the section of Jianli on the Yangtze River, central China’s Hubei Province. The cruise ship that capsized in the Yangtze River on Monday night carrying 456 people is being hoisted from the river after rescuers righted it on Friday morning. (Xinhua/Bai Yu)

On the evening of June 1, the Eastern Star — a cruise ship carrying 456 people along China’s Yangtze River — capsized in bad weather. Here’s a brief explainer in simple diagrams of how a capsized ship like it might be righted.

In the Eastern Star’s case, the ship was taller than the water it was in, leaving the bottom exposed when it capsized.

step1a

 

 

Hooks are attached to the bottom the ship.

step2

 

 

Cables are attached to the hooks, which go under and around the ship up to cranes.

step3a

 

 

The ship is then lifted off the floor to a height that ensures it won’t re-ground once the righting begins.

 step4a

 

 

When the cranes begin to pull the cables from the far side, it forces the ship to spin towards upright.

step5a

 

 

The cables continue to pull the ship towards upright.

step6a

 

 

The ship becomes upright and is then lifted higher in the water. Cables hold it up as emergency workers continue their operations.

step7a

In depth: The Eastern Star disaster

Sources: Zhu Yuzhu, Professor Dalian Maritime University; Tim Taylor of Tiburon Subsea; CCTV; Xinhua; South China Morning Post