Posted by: cruise2 | 22 February, 2012

The Latest on Costa Concordia

English: Costa Concordia Polski: Statek pasaże...

Image via Wikipedia

by Kevin Griffin of our London office writing in

As the general media have been covering the drama, we have not been commenting on the Costa Concordia tragedy. However, there are one or two pieces of news that we feel are worth commenting on. Firstly, should the elements allow, Costa has now announced that it intends to refloat the ship in one piece.
Others commenting have said that she is too big and will have to be cut up into sections. Ultimately, it will be the findings of the salvage company that will decide.

Ten salvage companies, Smit Salvage, Svitzer Salvage and Mammoet Salvage, all of the Netherlands, Titan Salvage, Resolve Marine Group, T&T Marine Salvage and Donjon Marine, all of the United states, Tito Neri of Italy and Fukada Salvage and Nippon Salvage of Japan, have been asked to tender on the wreck’s removal. Meanwhile, reports from US sources say that the ship’s insurers apparently favour Bisso Marine, a fifth-generation family business in New Orleans and Houston.

While Bisso was not even on the bid list it is always possible that it or its equipment might be subcontracted. Meanwhile, Smit Salvage is already on the scene as they were commissioned to remove the fuel from the wreck, about 40% of which has now been recovered. A final choice of salvage company is expected to be announced in March.

Should  Costa Concordia be righted and refloated intact, it seems that Costa have now given up any hope of placing her back in service again, indicating that in all likelihood she will be towed to a scrapyard. The damage to her port side is already evident, but that to her bottom and starboard side is as yet unknown.

Finally, according to Seatrade Insider and sources in Italy it appears that Costa Cruises bookings are down more than a third since the tragedy, as the line fights to protect the integrity of its brand. While other lines suffered lesser downturns, their bookings have started to rebound again after quick action by the cruise lines and public reassurances from the Cruise Lines International Association, the European Cruise Council and the UK’s Passenger Shipping Association.

The most important action has been that cruise lines have all now agreed to introduce mandatory safety drills before departure, something that exceeds International Maritime Organisation requirement that drills should be held within twenty-four hours of sailing.

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