The operations to remove fuel from the Costa Concordia will be finished on March 23, said Costa Cruises. The cruise liner has sat half-submerged off the Tuscan island of Giglio since it collided with rocks on Jan. 13.
Neri and Smit, salvage companies based in Italy and the Netherlands, respectively, began defueling operations on Feb. 12. A system of pumps and valves was used to remove the fuel, Costa said.
Before the ship can be removed, Neri and Smit must “clean up the seabed and the area around the hull,” Costa said. This is expected to take one to two months.
Regarding removal of the ship, Costa said a plan will be selected and announced in early to mid April. The cruise line is reviewing six proposals.
“All of the plans submitted prioritize the need to minimize the environmental impact, protect Giglio’s economy and tourism industry, and guarantee safety,” Costa said.
The operation to remove the wreck is expected to last 10 to 12 months.
According to the Associated Press, three more bodies were recovered from the Concordia wreck on March 22. In all, the bodies of 28 people have been found, and four people are still missing and presumed dead, reported the AP.