Preparations for removing the Costa Concordia from the shore of Giglio have been in motion for a number of months. Now, with just over a month before the ship is raised and towed away, concerns of pollution in the water surrounding the wreck are becoming more a major concern for local citizens.
In a recently released report by Costa Cruises, the line states the waters surrounding the island of Giglio could become contaminated by chemicals and hydrocarbons released from the wreck as it is removed from the shore. The wreck of the Costa Concordia has been slowly rusting and decomposing off the shore of the Italian island since January 2012.
While Costa Cruises has stated they have a number of barriers, protective netting, and other tools in place for the removal, many locals and government officials are concerned the measures aren’t enough to protect the water from serious contamination. One of the most outspoken critics of the removal has been Giglio mayor, Sergio Ortelli, who was recently quoted as saying, “Costa Cruises, without paying attention to the impact that these public announcements can have on the economy of our island, is going ahead on its own.”
Opposing the critical response from Ortelli is Franco Gabrielli, the head of Italy’s Civil Protection Department. Gabrielli has stated he believes the removal of the wreck will be handled with “maximum environmental and job related security possible.” He is set to meet with a number of agencies, groups, and officials today to finalize plans for removal of the ship.
The process of removing the Costa Concordia from Giglio is currently set to begin on July 20th. The ship will first be refloated by a number of pontoons and will then be transported to Genoa, Italy, where she will be scrapped. The Costa Concordia has been resting off the coast of Giglio since January 2012, when she was deliberately sailed close to the shoreline and struck a rock. The ship began taking on water and eventually came to rest on the coastline of Giglio. The incident took the lives of 32 passengers and crew.