The race is on in a big way to preserve the sanctity of the marine conservation area surrounding this wreck, though bodies are still to be discovered.
The race against time is getting ever more urgent around the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise liner, rescue divers retrieving a 13th body, that of a woman wearing a life jacket, on Sunday, as the ship continues to slip. In the way that floating platform legs are tensioned, it is being put forward now that a mooring system consisting of tendons, attached to the structure and connected to a foundation on the seabed, be employed ASAP
This 114,500-ton giant ran aground with more than 4,200 people aboard 9 days ago, yet passengers unaccounted is an unclear number as the liner may have been carrying unregistered passengers. The rescue efforts must go on, but preventing an environmental disaster is also vitally important.
It can clearly be seen that this huge wreck is undergoing daily movements, resting on two stone benches on the bottom, close by the edge of a 200ft underwater cliff edge, the ship laid at a 24v degree angle, but these pictures – above and below- taken six days apart are graphic displays of the reason for alarm, the funnel much nearer the water
Since fuel recovery operations might take between two and four weeks, possibly during rough seas, experts are now seriously thinking that anchoring the ship to the reef to prevent it from sinking is vital, so that the Smit Salvage company can drill into the ship’s fuel tanks and pump out 2,300 tonnes of fuel oil inside them.
With the vessel continuing to shift dangerously, the inclination now more than 80 degrees, sensors recorded a shifting at a rate of about 0.39 inches an hour overnight. Remember that these seas are home to the Pelagos Sanctuary for Mediterranean Marine Mammals, over 700 species including fin whales, sperm whales, dolphins, tuna, billfish and sharks potentially threatened
Should the liner slide off the shelf to the sea floor 290 feet below 500,000 million gallons of heavy fuel could be spilled into this pristine Tuscan wildlife sanctuary. It is said that 21 steel ropes, 4in diameter are needed to chain the Concordia to the reef and the sea bottom, the project achievable in only two days, and urgently needed. Let us hope action is taken in time.