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Costa Concordia: structural integrity key to success of salvage operation

Joseph Farrell, founder and chief executive officer of Resolve Marine Group, Inc., a maritime emergency and disaster response, salvage and ship wreck recovery companies, said, “Removal of the capsized Costa Concordia cruise ship from the Tuscany coastline is one of the largest undertakings of its kind – this is a massive and complex operation which the entire world will be watching.”

For more than 30 years, Resolve Marine Group has conducted hundreds of seafaring salvage and ship wreck removal operations. Among Resolve’s historic headline missions is the oil spill cleanup operation following BP Deep Water Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010 and its recovery of the aircraft and human remains at the Value Jet Flight 592 crash site in the Florida Everglades.

Resolve Marine Group also owns and operates the Resolve Maritime Academy. Since 1994, it has trained on-board firefighting techniques to more than 18,500 professional mariners.

Recently, the Academy – which has focused primarily on training marine firefighting, hazardous materials response and vessel damage control – expanded its curricula to include navigational safety-related programs.

Farrell said, “Resolve Marine Group has worked with Titan Salvage on a number of important maritime ship wreck projects.” Titan is the Pompano Beach, Florida, USA company that was awarded the Costa Concordia project along with the Italian marine contractor Micoperi.

“The Costa Concordia is a massive, international assignment that will involve hundreds of personnel including naval architects and engineers, highly experienced salvage masters and a variety of specialists such as environmental consultants,” explained Farrell.

“Based on my experience, Titan and Micoperio are staffed with qualified teams for this mission, which, I suspect, will require dispatching equipment and crews from around the globe,” he said.

“The plan to upright the capsized craft; then slowly tow it to a port near Rome could take more than a year to complete. Because of the magnitude of this project, unlike other salvage operations – and because the cruise ship is so close to land – the Costa Concordia requires special attention to the environmental concerns and to limiting disruption to the community, which relies almost entirely on tourism for its economic livelihood.”

Farrell explained, “The salvage team has to be extremely careful not to cause adverse effects to the environment. Rolling and then refloating the ship in one piece rather than dismantling it piece-by-piece will be quite a feat. The main concern will be to not further compromise the ship’s structural integrity, so that it can be maneuvered off the coast and to another port.”