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Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Costa Concordia - Salvage Operations are Expected to Begin Today

After the tragic accident of the Costa Concordia of last Friday. There are still many unanswered questions. Did the Captain intentionally steer the ship close to the shoreline? Were there technical failures? Could everyone have been saved? Why is the Costa Concordia resting on the opposite side from where the hole is located?

Tonight they showed chilling infra-red pictures
of the Costa Concordia the night of the incident. The images clearly show the ship almost fully on its side and hundreds of passengers walking on the slanted side of the ship, while others are shimmying down the the side of the ship while
holding on to rope ladders. It appears that there were still a good number of passengers and/or crew onboard after the ship was resting on her side.

Although there are still missing passengers, the salvage operation of the Costa Concordia is expected to begin today.

Dutch Salavge Operator SMIT has been hired to remove the 2,400 tons of fuel from the ship to prevent additional environmental impacts. The fuel removal alone can take between 2-4 weeks.

The larger salvage operation, which will include the patching of the holes and cracks in the hull and the pumping out of thousands of gallons of water to eventually right the ship. This operation is expected to be one of the largest salvage operations to date.

It could be possible that the damage to the ship might be so severe that she may need to be dismantled in place. The longer the ship sits on her side, the more she will settle into the sandy bottom making her up-righting more difficult.

If the Costa Concordia can up-righted, the plan is to move the Costa Concordia to a drydock where the damage can be evaluated. In my opinion the ship is a total constructive loss - meaning the insurance payment will not cover the required repairs, therefore she will not be worth repairing. Some of her furnishings could be reused on other Costa ships - but I think it is unlikely that she will sail again - but you never know.

I suspect that her engines are all water damaged and any cabins, lounges, and the whole side of the ship along the sea bottom is damaged as well as the other side of the ship which has been holed.

Supposedly SMIT, Titan and other salvage operators are quoting on the work, which some estimate the cost to be about $500 Million Dollars for the salvage operation alone. Industry sources are estimating the insurance claims for the Costa Concordia to exceed $1 billion dollars. The ship is reportedly insured by multiple third party insurers.

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