Saturday, February 18, 2012

Cruise Ship Costa Concordia Defueling Process

The defueling of cruise ship Costa Concordia is being carried out at the moment. Around 2,380 tonnes of fuel were still inside the fuel tanks of the cruise ship when the accident occurred. Fuel has to be pumped out of the sunken ship to minimize possible marine pollution that may happen anytime. The ship capsized on 13 January 2012 after running aground a rock close to Giglio island of Italy. The removal of fuel from the sunken capsized cruise ship is being done by Neri/Smith salvage team. If the weather is good, it can be completed in March.
Even though the official report about the real cause of the accident has not been released. Experts say that it was caused by human error. The ship had deviated from her usual route when she hit a rock near the island of Giglio. Many lifeboats and life rafts could not be launched because the cruise ship capsized so fast.  This accident has raised concerns among naval architects and marine engineers whether the current IMO or SOLAS regulations are safe enough or should be reviewed for further improvements.
The Costa Concordia accident reminds us to similar accident that happened nearly 100 years ago to passenger liner RMS Titanic that sank after hitting an iceberg. Following the Titanic accident that took more than 1500 lives, the first SOLAS convention was introduced in 1914. Today the amended version of SOLAS 1974 that is used by ship designers, builders and operators regarding the safety of life at sea.
All efforts have been done to ensure that all ships are built in accordance to rules and regulations from classification societies and IMO. The Costa Concordia incident should be reviewed from all aspects of the operation of ship. Even though the rules have been considered safe and adequate for the operation of ships, the factor of human error must not be ignored.
We still don't know what the Costa Cruises are going to do with the ship once the fuel oil has been pumped off from tanks of the Costa Concordia. by Charles Roring

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