Costa Concordia – Press Release #6

15 Sep 2013

Press Release #6

Tomorrow, at any point during the hours-long raising of the wreckage, the cruise ship containing 50,000 tons of scrap, waste, and polluted water could split open like an old, cracked bathtub. While the Costa Concordia is now in a relatively confined area, tomorrow this dump could be spread out over the Island of Giglio, and the Mediterranean sea. The only reassuring thing is that the wreck has been drained of its propulsion fuel. For the past 19 months, the hull of the Costa Concordia has been subject to the corrosion caused by waves and offshore currents. Therefore, there is a pressing risk of pollutant dispersal.

It will be up to the underwater platform to prove its resistance should the hull of the ship withstand the ordeal of being lifted. The platform has to be strong enough to hold up the ship.

There have been long talks for a recovery plan after dismantlement. The ports of Piombino in Tuscany and Palermo in Sicily are arguing over whether or not to proceed with the final demolition of the Costa Concordia. They have yet to reach a decision. Furthermore, Italy regularly scraps its old cruise ships—Costa Allegra, Pacific Princess (1)—and other commercial vessels in India and Turkey. If Italy plans to go through with dismantling the Costa Concordia, it should redesign its industrial sector with better, more efficient ships of smaller size.

Robin des Bois is concerned that in the back of their minds lies the option of sinking Costa Concordia in an underwater trench. The operation would be carried out under the guise of force majeure, claiming that the extraction of the majority of the waste is justified on account of being less dangerous than trying to get the wrecked ship to a port in such a precarious state.

Even almost two years after the accident, no decision was made by the International Maritime Organization or the states involved in the cruise industry to take action to reduce the human and environmental risks induced by mega cruise ships.

(1) Point of reference: Costa Allegra (available in French), February 28th 2012

Pacific Princess: Ship Breaking Kills in Turkey, August 12th, 2013






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