COSTA CONCORDIA Fuel Removal Gets Underway After Two Weeks of Delays
After two weeks of delays due to rough seas and unfavorable weather conditions, crews began pumping fuel from the capsized COSTA CONCORDIA on Feb. 12. The ship sits off the coast of Tuscany, Italy, where it ran aground on Jan. 13, claiming the lives of at least 17 passengers and crewmembers. Another 15 people remain missing and are presumed dead.
Fuel removal equipment arrived at the accident site on Jan. 24 and pumping was expected to begin on Jan. 28, but rough seas that morning dislodged a barge attached to the ship’s hull. Because the ship capsized in waters that are part of a protected marine sanctuary, concerns about fuel leaks have abounded since the accident occurred. Despite a growing sense of urgency, workers had to wait for optimal weather and sea conditions in order to minimize the risk of complications that could jeopardize the ecologically sensitive area. So far, there have not been any reports of serious leaks.
Dutch shipwreck salvage firm Smit Salvage is in charge of the fuel removal operation. The ship has around 500,000 gallons of fuel onboard, and officials have said pumping will continue for 28 consecutive days. The salvage master heading up the operation said he was hoping to have the majority of the fuel removed within a week and that crews were starting with six tanks in the front of the ship believed to hold about 62-65 percent of the fuel.
For victims of the COSTA CONCORDIA disaster, the healing process may take much longer than the fuel cleanup. If you are a survivor this tragic cruise ship accident or have a loved one who was killed or remains missing, contact a Boston maritime attorney today to learn about your rights under maritime law.
Latti & Anderson LLP –Boston maritime trial lawyers