Heavy sea conditions forced salvage workers from the Netherland’s SMIT and Italy’s NERI to suspend fuel removal operations today from the cruise ship Costa Concordia, which is grounded off of the island of Giglio, Italy.
One of the vessels on scene is NERI’s ocean crane barge Meloria. The 42.4 m x 19 m crane barge has a lifting capacity of 160 tons.
The delicate operation requires the debunkering of about 2,300 tonnes of fuel oil—split between heavy fuel oil and gas oil—in the 4,200-passenger ship’s tanks. The threat of the spill prompted the Italian government to declare a state of emergency. Salvage crews must be extremely cautious. Pumping out the fuel could destabilize the vessel, possibly causing it to sink and rupturing its fuel tanks. The process could take as long as a month.
While fuel removal operations were temporarily suspended, the search to recover the bodies of victims of the grounding continued. Emergency divers reportedly recovered the body of a woman today, bringing the number of known dead to 17.
COMPENSATION PACKAGE PROPOSED BY COSTA
Meanwhile, on Jan. 27, Costa Crociere announced a compensation proposal for guests who have returned home after the Jan. 13 incident. In Italy, the company has already reached an agreement with the National Council of Consumers and Users, a national organization.
The families of the deceased and guests who were injured and required medical treatment on site will be covered under a separate proposal that will take into account their individual circumstances.
The compensation package for Costa Concordia guests who have returned home includes:
• A lump sum of 11,000 euros ( about $14,458) per person as indemnification, covering all patrimonial and nonpatrimonial damages, including loss of baggage and personal effects, psychological distress and loss of enjoyment of the cruise vacation;
• Reimbursement of the value of the cruise, including harbor taxes;
• Reimbursement of air and bus transfers included in the cruise
• Full reimbursement of travel expenses to reach the port of
embarkation and return home;
• Reimbursement of any medical expenses resulting from the cruise;
• Reimbursement of expenses incurred on board during the cruise.
A number of class action and individual suits have been spawned against Costa Cruises and Carnival Corp., its parent. Those who sign off of the compensation from Costa would not be part of any class action suit.
The captain of the Costa Concordia, Francesco Schettino, remain under house arrest, facing charges of manslaughter and abandoning ship before the vessel’s evacuation was complete.
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January 28, 2012