Costa Concordia Clean Up Could Take A Year

An Italian firefighter helicopter lifts up a passenger from the luxury cruise ship Costa Concordia which ran aground the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Sunday, Jan. 15, 2012. (AP / Gregorio Borgia)

The Costa Concordia cruise ship listing dangerously on its one side will continue to uglify the Giglio coast for coming part of the year.

Depending on methods and cost, the cruise line company is likely to announce the selected bid in two months to remove the ship’s wreck, which could take up to 10 months.

Stormy weather over the weekend have hampered salvage efforts off the Tuscan coast to remove 500,000 gallons of fuel off the cruise ship. Pumping equipment attached to the ship to extract the fuel was removed after high winds and rough seas deteriorated conditions for divers battling the wreck.

To avert a looming environmental disaster in the virgin locales of Tuscan, removing fuel from the ship is essential and which could take up to one month to complete.

Officials are not optimistic about finding any cruise members alive more than two weeks after the Concordia hit the reef. Initially, the goal was to find as many survivors on the wrecked ship but now it has shifted to avert an environmental disaster after Concordia shifted one and a half inches over a six hour period.

The cruise disaster is expected to initiate the biggest maritime insurance claim ever against the operator, Costa Cruises. The operator in turn is offering $14,460 each in compensation to more than 3,000 passengers albeit they drop their plans to file a legal case.

The Concordia’s captain who caused the crash has been kept under house arrest on possible charges of multiple manslaughter and abandoning ship.

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