Costa Concordia Update: U.S. Salvage Company Wins Bid

The US based salvage company Titan Salvage and Italian firm Microperi, have won contracts to begin repairs to the Costa Concordia cruise ship.   The Microperi specializes in underwater ship repairs.

The work is scheduled to begin in May as the salvage companies wait on approval from Italian authorities.  The process is expected to take a year.

The Concordia has been half submerged in water after the deadly accident that took the lives of 32 passengers and crew members after hitting a reef off the coast of Giglio.

The companies will first repair the massive gash that was left in the hull of the ship.  Airbags will then be used to re-float the ship so the Concordia can be towed to a port on the mainland of Italy.  The port of Civitavecchia will be used for the salvage operation, in an effort to lesson the impact on tourism in Giglio.

The sea floor that lies beneath and around the ship will also be cleaned. Major damage has been averted so far as the 2,000 tons of fuel on the ship was removed easing fears of an environmental catastrophe.  Pier Luigi Foschi, Costa Cruises chief executive, said “As was the case with the removal of the fuel, we have sought to identify the best solution to safeguard the island and its marine environment and to protect its tourism”.

An investigation into the accident continues as authorities are looking into the actions of nine individuals.  Francesco Schettino, the captain of the Concordia, remains under house arrest on suspicion of manslaughter and abandoning ship.  He has denied any wrongdoing in the January 13, 2012 accident that has shaken up the cruise industry.

Cruise Fever will continue to update any news on the Costa Concordia as more information comes in from Italy.

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