COSTA CONCORDIA Fuel Removal Efforts Begin

Preliminary efforts to remove the 2,500 tons of fuel and oil from the capsized COSTA CONCORDIA began last week. The ship sits off the coast of the Tuscan island Giglio, in waters that are part of a protected marine park where porpoises, dolphins and whales thrive. On Jan. 24, just a day after a thin oil slick was spotted about 300 meters from the accident site, a barge carrying a crane and other defueling equipment attached itself to the ill-fated cruise ship, although pumping wasn’t expected to begin until Saturday. Officials indicated the thin oil slick was not a threat, and absorbent panels were used to soak up the film.

According to officials, six tanks holding approximately half the fuel onboard the COSTA CONCORDIA will be drilled into first, and then hoses will be used to pump those tanks. The ship has a total of 17 fuel tanks, and the six initially being drilled are said to be relatively easy to access. The Dutch firm in charge of the removal efforts says it does not expect any problems, but cautions that weather conditions could change things. Removing the fuel is expected to take at least a month or more.

In addition to creating the risk of an oil spill in an ecologically sensitive area, this tragic cruise ship accident has claimed the lives of at least 16 people, with another 16 missing and feared dead. The COSTA CONCORDIA accident is already being called one of the worst maritime disasters in modern times. Survivors and families of those killed should contact an experienced Boston maritime attorney before it’s too late to take legal action. There are time limits for filing a claim against Costa Cruises and its parent corporation, Carnival Cruise Line, so do not delay in seeking legal representation.

Latti & Anderson LLP – Boston maritime trial lawyers