HOLLYWOOD (CBS4) – A South Florida salvage company has been tapped with the enormous task of up-righting the sunken Costa Concordia cruise ship off the coast of Italy.
Titan Salvage Company, based in Pompano Beach, was awarded the contract by Costa Crociere and the Costa Concordia Emergency Commissioner’s Office. They will work along side Italian firm Micoperi to stabilize and remove the ship which has laid crippled next to Giglio Island since January.
Costa Cruise Lines is a subsidiary of Miami-based Carnival Cruise Lines.
“We are very pleased to announce another important step toward salvaging the wreck from Giglio Island,” said Costa Crociere S.p.A. Chairman & CEO Pier Luigi Foschi. “As was the case with the removal of the fuel, we have sought to identify the best solution to safeguard the island and its marine environment and to protect its tourism. We would like also to thank Smit Salvage and Tito Neri for succeeding in defueling and caretaking operations.”
Officials say the ship will be salvaged in one piece and once afloat, will be towed to an Italian port to be dealt with by authorities. Work is expected to begin next month. Fuel recovery efforts on the ship concluded in late March.
Once the ship is removed, officials say extensive work will begin to restore the island’s shoreline by cleaning up any debris on the sea floor and replanting marine flora.
Thirty-two people died, including two Americans, when the luxury cruise liner ran aground and partially sank on January 12. Passengers complained of massive confusion during evacuation efforts, and the captain has been charged with manslaughter and abandoning ship.