Insurers’ £1.2bn bill for Costa Concordia: Salvage contractors set to refloat stricken cruise ship in next two weeks

Insurers’ £1.2bn bill for Costa Concordia: Salvage contractors set to refloat stricken cruise ship in next two weeks

Salvage contractors are set to refloat the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia within the next two weeks in the latest stage of what has become the most expensive ship recovery operation in history.

London insurers picking up the $2 billion (£1.18 billion) bill will be closely tracking the moves to float the ship.

Insurance sources said the salvage could involve a semi-submersible boat effectively carrying the Costa Concordia to nearby Genoa to be dismantled.

Insurers’ £1.2bn bill for Costa Concordia: Salvage contractors set to refloat stricken cruise ship in next two weeks Mail Online

Maritime disaster awaits unless steps are taken

It is not a wildly risky prediction to say that we have a maritime disaster somewhere in our future.

Cruise ships are getting ever larger and carrying ever larger numbers of passengers, more than could be comfortably or efficiently removed from the ship in the event of a fire or a sinking.

In January 2012, the U.S. Costa Concordia, with 4,252 people aboard, ran aground on a clearly visible island off the coast of Italy, with the loss of 32 lives. Because of delays in implementing safety procedures and language barriers among the crew and passengers, the ship was not abandoned in an orderly fashion, and the captain, rather than stick with his ship as law and tradition demand, left about an hour before most of his passengers.

Maritime disaster awaits unless steps are taken MDJ Online