Air bubbles released from a pipe on the seabed will be used to form a buffer curtain to protect the marine park from noise pollution during the salvage.
A giant yellow drill shatters into the rocky seabed next to the rusting Costa Concordia wreck as workers battle to pull off the biggest salvage operation of its kind in history.
Cranes tower over the luxury liner, which lies covered in seaweed where it capsized on Giglio island in January. A gaping hole where the swimming pool used to be reveals the ghostly depths of the ship's nine-story central atrium.
The disaster, which killed 32 people, left salvage teams facing the unprecedented challenge of removing a ship with a gross tonnage of 114,500 GT without spilling its rotting contents into the sea.
"It's the biggest ship recovery ever by quite some way," said Nick Sloane, salvage master for US company Titan, which won a bid for the project jointly with Italian offshore rig company Micoperi to right and float the Concordia. "The plan is based on a lot of assumptions made by our engineering teams. It's a thumbsuck, but an informed thumbsuck," the South African said with a grin, adding that he has a cigar ready to celebrate the day the ship floats.