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Costa Calls On Salvage Companies For CONCORDIA Removal Plans

Posted on Wednesday, February 8, 2012 by

After initial statements that the COSTA CONCORDIA would be out of service for at least the remainder of this year, the focus now has shifted to finding a salvage company that can remove the wrecked 114,147 gross ton cruise ship from the rocks of Gabbianara Point on Isola del Giglio as quickly as possible.  The ship has been the focus of television, digital and print media cameras since it ran aground on January 13th.   The following press release was issued last week on Thursday, February 02, 2012:

COSTA CONCORDIA wreck off Isola del Giglio, Photo credit Uaohk, GNU Free Documentation License

“Costa Crociere has set up a technical committee, with representatives from Costa Cruises, Carnival Corporation & plc, Fincantieri, Rina and sector experts, including academics, who will work for the best possible drawing up of the plan, on a joint basis with the competent authorities.  As anticipated, in a letter sent to Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner Franco Gabrielli, Costa Cruises has called for tenders from ten companies throughout the world to present a working plan to entirely remove the hull of the COSTA CONCORDIA.

The invitation has been sent to the world’s leading operators, who have the capabilities to perform the work in the shortest time possible, while ensuring maximum safety and the least possible environmental impact: 1 Smit Salvage BV, 2  Svitzer Salvage BV, 3 Mammoet Salvage BV, 4  Titan Salvage, 5  Resolve Marine Group Inc., 6  T&T Marine Salvage Inc., 7  Donjon Marine Inc., 8 Tito Neri S.r.l., 9 Fukada Salvage & Marine Works Co. Ltd., 10 The Nippon Salvage Co Ltd.

The plans must be presented to Costa Cruises by the beginning of March 2012, for joint assessment with the Civil Protection Scientific Committee, in order to allow the best one to be selected by the end of March 2012.  This timeline represents the best possible outcome in a situation of this kind, although it cannot be excluded that there will be delays given the complexity of the operation.”

Smit Salvage from the Netherlands is already on scene to facilitate the removal of the fuel from the capsized and partially sunken cruise ship.  In statements about the financial impact of the wreck, Carnival Corporation at first seemed to indicate that there was a possibility that the ship might return to service someday.

“The vessel is expected to be out of service for the remainder of our current fiscal year, if not longer,” said the cruise line. “In addition, the company anticipates other costs to the business that are not possible to determine at this time.”

The problem of removing the ship from its precarious resting place is now becoming a priority.  When the COSTA CONCORDIA  rises from the seabed, there are three things that could happen.  If it can be successfully re-floated, the ship could be towed away and scrapped.  Another possibility, although looking more remote, is that the ship could be rebuilt and  still see a return to service, possibly in another form.  The third scenario is the hull and superstructure could be scrapped in place and removed in pieces.  More should be known in just over a month when the salvage proposals are analyzed.

32 Responses to Costa Calls On Salvage Companies For CONCORDIA Removal Plans

  1. Kabir

    February 8, 2012 at 8:27 pm

    Hi there! I have been follow news reports of the Costa Concordia ever since she ran aground. I was slightly confused by this quote ” the ship could be rebuilt and  still see a return to service, possibly in another form.”.

    What would be “another form”? It would be great if you clarified!

    Thanks so much,


  2. Tom in Long Beach

    February 9, 2012 at 7:35 am

    Most likely the third option of cut up on spot and removed. If if can be at least re-floted and towed away it will sort of be a surprise. It would be a testament to advances in marine salvage. hundreds of balcony doors would have to be sealed up. I am sure more than one reader is comparing this to the NORMANDIE in 1942.
    But the NORMANIDE was in a berth in New York Harbor and a more heavily constructed and smaller ship.

  3. Stewart

    February 9, 2012 at 10:22 am

    She can be re named , new hull colours and funnel colour or redesign and enter a new market and nobody would be the wiser, except ship enthusiasts .

  4. David L. NYC

    February 9, 2012 at 11:26 am

    Ships are not designed to lie on their sides like this for long periods of time. Indeed, Normandie rested on a rocky ledge, causing (as I understand it) structural problems with the hull that led to her scrapping. In addition, she was refloated, but only after having her entire superstructure removed. There is, perhaps, a fourth option for the Costa Concordia; the superstructure is removed during in-situ cutting before the remaining hull is refloated.

    Whatever the eventual outcome, a sad end to a lovely ship.

  5. Peter Kohler

    February 9, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    You’d have to do a lot of squinting to call COSTA CONCORDIA a “lovely ship” methinks! Certainly, her interior was the worst of it… an atrocious Farcus insult to “Italian” themes a la Vegas. I was mercifully ignorant as to just how hideous Costa ships are now inside and how low market tacky they’ve become… a lowend Euro Carnival.

    Not sure as to the salvage prospects or procedures. Everyone keeps asserting how “topheavy” these ships are and “unstable” which to me, anyway, indicates what is easy to capsize might be remarkably easy to right for the same reasons. She might wind up as a floating hotel or accommodation ship somewhere if nothing else.

  6. David L. NYC

    February 9, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Well, let’s put it this way: while she was afloat, the Costa Concordia was a heck of a lot lovelier than what I served on in the Navy!

    Ships like the Costa Concordia are designed to be slightly top-heavy, relying instead on elaborate computerized ballesting systems to keep them stable. The reasoning is that vessels that are slightly out of ballast ride more comfortably. Recently a series of infrared photos taken the night of the allision show the ship on her side, with her bulbous forefoot almost completely out of the water. The Concordia capsized first, no doubt about it, and that’s something that has to be taken into account by the industry as it officially and unofficially reflects on this historic and shocking event.

    Whatever her aesthetic and technological strengths or weaknesses, it really wasn’t the Costa Concordia’s fault that she came to grief, ravaged and despised, on Gabbianara Point. As has been the case with many previous disasters, the true culprit was by most accounts human error.

  7. Richard G

    February 10, 2012 at 1:43 am

    I think the real problem facing the Concordia is that even if it is possible to put her back into service I’m not sure many would choose to travel on her.
    You have to remmeber that images of this incident and the horrible thought that people lost their lives being trapped in this ship are not things that members of the cruise going public are likely to forget. Especially so given the immense worldwide coverage the incident has received.
    This is a psycological rather than technical argument of course, but when you next book a cruise, if it comes to a choice between a refurbed Concordia or the Ruby Princess, which way would you go?

  8. Shawn Dake

    February 10, 2012 at 10:37 am

    In an attempt to clarify my remarks about the remote possibility of the ship returning in “another form” I think Stewart in his comment above summed it up nicely. Ships that have been declared a “Total Constructive Loss” (TCL) have come back to service; Sometimes as cruise ships and sometimes not. A couple of examples: Sundance Cruises SUNDANCER hit rocks off British Columbia and was declared a TCL after taking on water and nearly capsizing. The ship was purchased by Epirotiki Cruises and renammed PEGASUS. Under their watch the ship burned and partially sank and was declared a loss for the second time. Even then there were plans to rebuild the ship, this time returning her to her origins as a ferry, but again fire struck and the ship was declared a TCL for the third time. The ship was finally scrapped in 1995. A second example was Cunard Line’s 1972-built cruise ship CUNARD AMBASSADOR. After a fire in the engine room that spread to the interior the ship it was declared a total loss. The remains were sold, and the ship became the livestock carrier LINDA CLAUSEN, still looking very similar on the exterior, but now carrying sheep instead of people. Saltwater and diesel engines do not mix well so in my opinion the most likely scenario for the COSTA CONCORDIA is scrap. I hope this helps clarify my meaning of “another form.” Right now it would only be speculation so those two words could mean anything.

  9. Leigh

    February 11, 2012 at 9:46 am

    Submersion of mechanical equipment – specifically diesel engines does not mandate ruin. White Star’s GEORGIC was sunk in salt water in July 1941, and after lying on the bottom for months was raised with both main diesel engines and diesel generators underwater to be restored without being removed or replaced. The GEORGIC was able to travel under her own power back to Britain to be repaired.

    Economics will play a role in determining the fate of CONCORDIA’s wreck. I doubt there is any damage done here that cannot be repaired by a skilled shipyard. The insurance underwriters will have a lot to say about the ships fate if the wreck can be removed in one piece. For example if the repairs cost 75% of the ships insured value, the underwriters will pay only that amount to Costa. If the repairs cost more than the ship value, the underwriters will compensate Costa and take possession of the wreck. Then the underwriters will likely sell the wreck to the highest bidder, and time will tell if another shipping line will buy it or a scrap yard will.

    Engineering the wreck removal will be another factor in CONCORDIA’s future. Is it possible to right and float the ship without any dismantling? And what of the environment? Will dismantling part or all of the ship cause environmental damage?

    The task of removing the CONCORDIA will be analyzed by many before and after she is removed. I look forward to updates and comments.

  10. Capt Bill

    February 11, 2012 at 3:42 pm

    To touch on what Leigh was saying, take it a little further, if they can right her and pump her out, and find a shipyard to repair her, everything above the waterline will need to be replaced. having just watched how they build these newer type of ships, they should be able to reverse the process (meaning take out the old cabins and have new ones built) and replace them. they do this now when they add cabins or lengthen a ship. Just like if they where building a new ship. this would of course need to be done in a yard as big as the one that built her.that has the availblity (along side and Dry dock to afford it.

    I also read somewhere that Carnival self insured its vessels so theey would be the insurance company also.

    Ship yards can do wonders with ships these days look at the Carnival Splender for her repairs as well others that have had fires etc over the last several years.

  11. Deborah

    February 11, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I was looking at the webcam today and she appears that she seems to be pivoting?? Stern more out to sea, bow more towards land.

  12. Jonno

    February 12, 2012 at 6:17 am

    This blog appears to have the most innovative and practical solution for re-floating the Concordia intact, and with the least amount of fancy equipment.


  13. Peter Newall

    February 12, 2012 at 8:22 am

    The total loss a ship is a Constructive Total Loss (CTL) and not a Total Constructive Loss (TCL)as Shawn Dake states in his posting February 10.

  14. Peter Newall

    February 12, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I posted this message about the sinking of Rabaul Queen nine days ago and no one made any comment and yet this endless, rivet-counting discussion about the Costa ship continues unabated. Is anyone on this site, really interested in ships and the sea or anything beyond the USA and Europe?

    It is quite extraordinary that whilst the sinking of an Italo-American ship generated huge debate, the loss of over 100 lives in this disaster has produced not a single comment!

  15. Mauretania1907

    February 12, 2012 at 5:30 pm

    !. Rabaul Queen sank off the coast of Papua New Guinea. Many who lost their lives were students returning to school after summer holidays. A sad loss to PNG and to their families.
    2. Svitser (spelling) is the firm engaged in retrieving containers from the wreck of RENA which struck Astralabe Reef off the coast of New Zealand. She broke in two after a storm and the stern section has slid down the reef and sunk, thus making the recovery even harder.
    3. Please continue to post news of the Concordia. I am interested in what happens next – how will the wreck be removed and what eventually happens to the ship. Apparently there is a video released recently which shows officers on the bridge shortly after the ship struck to rocks.

  16. Kenneth Eden

    February 13, 2012 at 5:41 am

    Peter Newall

    Here in the US the RABAUL QUEEN did not make a whisper of news, at least locally.

    It is a very sad day when loss of life happens to any ship, being cruise, tanker, ferry at al.

    I thank you for presenting the fate of the RABAUL QUEEN, as for me and many others, it may not have been known.

  17. Dave in NJ

    February 13, 2012 at 10:00 am

    Though it wasn’t front page news, the incident with the RABUAL QUEEN was in the New York Times, two consecutive days as I recall.

  18. Peter Newall

    February 13, 2012 at 11:27 am

    Martin (Cox) posted the RABAUL QUEEN story on this site 1 February, which is why I sent the message about no comments for a major passenger ship tragedy where the ship capsized at sea with large loss of life.


  19. MarkD

    February 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm

    With regards to the lack of comments on the Rabaul Queen, people just might not have had anything to add. The news was in the Minnesota area for a couple of days, and I read about it on the internet too. But there was a distinct lack of information on the wreck. I never saw any news articles on the final casualty count. I never saw anything on the cause. Did it just succumb to heavy seas? What sort of condition was it in? There was very poor reporting on the incident.
    With this vessel, Concordia, the media was all over it because it was easily accessable.
    I’m sure that had a lot to do with the difference to attention on the subject and the quality of reporting.
    More than that, there were citizens of Minneota on the Concordia, and that increased the media coverage in the area.
    And, to top it off, the public is more captivated by the loss of a big cruise ship that so many of the great masses take vacations on.
    The general news media isn’t so concerned with the worth of a story as much as what they can sell, or attract viewers, to. Concordia put on a huge show right in the public eye. That sells.
    I hate to have to say it, but it’s the hard truth.
    Mark D.

  20. gregg

    February 18, 2012 at 6:03 pm

    Can anyone tell me why this ship wasnt righted up , right away,
    there seems to be no damage to the fuel tanks. I understand that there was the recovery stage but a month later ??Just personally I think they should have righted the ship 1 week after. I dont see why they are dragging their feet, I could see if the tanks were seeping oil, but that doesnt seem to be the case here.

  21. gregg

    February 18, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    I would like to see the Concordia rebuilt. I would cruise on her, people die every day, people have died in cars and those same cars are resold. This was a tragedy on many levels, but to scrap such a beautiful ship because of the recklessnes of this putz of a captain?
    Fix the ship and rename her. Im sure Carnival could place her in one of the lines fleet with nobody knowing the better.
    Just make sure this time that the champaigne bottle breaks the first time, this ship tale seems to be right…omen!!

  22. Rick Gellert

    February 23, 2012 at 7:31 am

    Where can I get more information about the Ship’s design? Where can I get sufficient technical detail to determine the feasibility of floating the ship using a method not involving cranes, or making the entire exterior waterproof, then pumping?
    Is the architecture above the normal-waterline strong enough to support the buoyancy of air bladders sized to fill all the cabins individually?

    It is a real shame that Carnival has not set up a Wiki containing all this information needed for me or others to develop an innovative salvage method that works.

  23. Rick Gellert

    February 25, 2012 at 9:31 am

    Jonno- read my comments on that page.

  24. Jonno

    February 26, 2012 at 9:18 am

    @ Rick Gellert.
    Your post is a bit too cryptic for me. What comments, where? Best, J.

  25. Garnet Durham

    March 2, 2012 at 9:27 pm

    Determining the best Salvage Method for the Costa Concordia and the sensitive aquatic environment is something that is best determined by the relevant experts on hand! Nothing this size has ever been attempted before, so there is no knowledge base to fall back on.Most marine salvage on this scale of tonnage only happens to Bulk Carriers & Container ships which do not have as many decks, and open balconies and windows to inrush of sea water.

    Righting & Refloating, Cutting Up into Manageable Pieces In Situ or just towing into deep water and sinking are all possibilities.

    But this is something that is best left out of the heads of arm-chair Quaterbacks and in the hands of naval architects and marine salvage experts. One only needs to watch a few episodes of “CODE RED” to see how extremely dangerous the Marine Salvage business is, and for people to think that the ship could be righted or moved without pumping the fuel tanks dry, clearly shows their lack of knowledge!

    – In the 1st place the Italian Government would not allow that to happen, that is why a salvage contract was done with SMIT International to safeguard the environment, as they have the most experience with heating up cold Bunker Oil and pumping tanks dry. They don’t drag their feet to ratchet up the bill, company & insurance underwriters pay close attention to that, it’s all about one thing: S A F E T Y – No Diver’s Life is worth getting the job done 1 or 2 days faster

    I don’t believe any workers should be risked to recover any more remains unless their safety margin improves a great deal, and by that I mean when the ship is righted, or when portions are in dry dock and the noxious gases vented from compartments.

    Just my opinion…

    Vancouver, Canada

  26. John Palmer

    March 8, 2012 at 8:05 pm

    Lets be realistic about this bizaar event. There is no way that this vessel will be refloated and returned to service anew. The cost of refloating,drydocking,repairing the hull,gutting the interior, replacing the engines,wiring,furnishings etc,etc is way beyond the cost of a new building. It would have to come back to bare metal and rebuilt from that.
    Sure,throw enough money at something and you will get results but who would be crazy enough to throw a few billion at it to achieve these ends. No insurance company that I know of.
    What would I do(having salved vessels, drydocked vessels,and worked on vessels all my working life)to rectify the situation?
    The word is that it is unstable as it sits and could slide into deeper water given a big enough storm.Therfore I would secure the vessel to shore with cables to prevent any movement and then proceed to cut the thing up bit by bit and make razor blades out of it. Anyone who thinks ohterwise must have fuzzy logic.
    My opinion only,for what its worth.
    I think Carnival(Costa) will have a good hard look at its bridge resource management system before very long. Perhaps it already has as in a recent fire on one of their ships in the Indian Ocean all the pax were mustered immediately. This in itself is a good sign and one can only hope that nothing like this happens in the future.
    That my spleen vented.
    Safe sailings.
    John Palmer.

  27. David Allen

    March 15, 2012 at 7:18 pm

    I would bet that this 6 year old ship is refloated and renamed.
    Can any of you tell me which US Navy ship sunk in Pearl Harbor was scrapped. None were. Refloatation is done by inflating bags inside the ship, like baloons. Once the ship is out of the water it will be towed a short distance to a drydock.

  28. Kalle Id

    March 16, 2012 at 12:30 am

    Pearl Harbour during wartime is a slightly different thing than a commercially-operated ship during peacetime. The US Navy undoubtedly needed every ship it could possibly get back then, and in essence money was no object. But here we are talking about economical realities of the free market system and if the ship is damaged badly enough, she will be scrapped. Regardless of how new she is.

  29. Dick

    March 17, 2012 at 3:08 pm

    The ultimate fate of the COSTA CONCORDIA was decided on January 14th. The Press Release at the start of this post says it. On February 2, Carnival/Costa was already referring to the “removal of the HULL”, not the ship, but the hull. They had already decided there would be no refloating, reconstruction and re-entry into the cruise market for the CONCORDIA. When they accepted the insurance money for her, the deal was sealed and her fate guaranteed. Even if she could be refloated and rebuilt, the second-hand market for a ship of her size is nonexistant.

  30. picture editor free download

    April 16, 2012 at 5:25 am

    It’s real secret for me! Why do we – people allow these things to happen. We all know that cargo ships are very dangerous nevertheless we load them with more and more weight and that have this accidents.

  31. Michael

    April 19, 2012 at 10:04 am

    I truly hope they can refloat her it is hard to see such a waist of a good vessel. I personally do not believe in curses and I for one would have no issue sailing on her. Because she will be build better after every part will be scrutinized over and over again. However saying that I hope the coward captain gets life! I see a little WW2 in him. If she is cut up I will shed a tear for all the hard work that went into building that magnificent ship.


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