Storm Approaches; Costa Concordia Considered to be at "High Risk" of Sinking
For recovery teams, time is running out as inclement weather makes it way towards the resting place of the Costa Concordia; the storm is expected to bring with it winds of up to 30 knots and 1.5 meter waves to the west site of the island of Giglio. Even though the ship is located on the east, many are concerned that storm could force the ship – which is already resting precariously after slipping in position yesterday – to tip and move into even deeper waters. This could cause the ship to break up and not only make the hope of finding survivors even slimmer, but also could cause tons of fuel to be spilled into the local marine sanctuary.
The risk that this fuel presents and the possibility of environmental disaster is ever-growing. According to the Environment Minister Corrado Clini, Costa is essentially a "mini-oil tanker" considering how much fuel it has stored – measuring out to almost two thousand metric tons of heavy bunker fuel, as well as the lighter fuel that is used aboard the ship to help run generators. It is well-known that the fuel will need to be retrieved; the Netherland-based company that was awarded the contract, Smit Salvage, has already moved in emergency teams ready to begin operations as soon as the search and rescue mission has been declared over.
So how much time is left? With 21 people still missing, rescue teams are doing everything that they can to keep searching for survivors, but the clock is ticking down. It was reported by the National Post that a specialist diving crew mentioned that the window left for the search and rescue mission could be as little as twelve to twenty four hours. This, however, was disputed by a rescue operations spokesman who said that as the situation is still evolving they have not set an official deadline just yet.
As this tragedy develops, we at Arnold & Itkin recognize how many lives will be affected by the cruise ship accident. We know how complex it can be to deal with maritime claims involving tragedies of this magnitude and we are therefore committed to providing clients with assistance that not only involves legal representation, but support and guidance as they move forward in protecting their rights. You can be confident knowing that should you choose to work with an offshore injury attorney from our firm that we will stop at nothing in our efforts to helping you obtain the maximum recovery that you deserve. Contact a maritime lawyer from our legal team today to learn more about what can be done for you.