The rising cost of shipwreck removal

Due to increasing vessel sizes and growing cargo volumes, the cost of removing shipwrecks, such as the stricken Costa Concordia, is spiralling, marine experts warn, according to Lloyd’s, the world’s specialist insurance market.

Shipwrecks are often a massive media event, frequently combining reports of heroism on the high seas with dramatic scenes of stricken vessels spilling their cargoes. But after the TV crews have moved on, the essential and sometimes dangerous work of wreck removal gets underway. And, as a new report from Lloyd’s reveals, the cost of this complex job is rising fast – with insurers and reinsurers, and ultimately shipowners, having to foot the bill.

The wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship, which spectacularly ran aground off the coast of Italy last year, has highlighted the issue of rising wreck removal costs. It has already cost significant sums of money and the wreck has not even been moved yet.

The bill for removing the wreck of the MV Rena, a container ship which sank off New Zealand in 2011, currently stands at $240 million. The removal of the MSC Napoli, which attracted thousands of scavengers to the UK’s south coast in 2007, took two and a half years to complete and cost $135 million, according to Lloyd’s.

The Rising Cost of Shipwreck Removal Financial