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.
Hooks are attached to the bottom the ship.
Cables are attached to the hooks, which go under and around the ship up to cranes.
The ship is then lifted off the floor to a height that ensures it won’t re-ground once the righting begins.
When the cranes begin to pull the cables from the far side, it forces the ship to spin towards upright.
The cables continue to pull the ship towards upright.
The ship becomes upright and is then lifted higher in the water. Cables hold it up as emergency workers continue their operations.
In depth: The Eastern Star disaster
Sources: Zhu Yuzhu, Professor Dalian Maritime University; Tim Taylor of Tiburon Subsea; CCTV; Xinhua; South China Morning Post