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    Costa Concordia embarks on its last voyage


    Emergency response teams rushed to deal with an oil spill from the wreck of the Costa Concordia Sunday, as salvage experts prepared to tow the crippled vessel away from the island of Giglio Tuesday.

    The oil leaked as the 105,000-tonne cruise liner continued to rise in the water, with engineers pumping compressed air into 30 huge steel compartments attached to the hull of the ship, forcing out seawater and providing buoyancy.

    As more decks emerged above the water, the words “Costa Concordia,” in giant blue lettering, were visible for the first time since the ship sank two and a half years ago with the loss of 32 lives.

    Authorities played down the extent of the oil leakage, which was first noticed late on Saturday night, saying it had been quickly dealt with.

    “A small amount of hydrocarbons was spotted in the mid ship/aft of the wreck. The Oil Spill Response team was immediately activated and the area was cleaned through the use of absorbent booms,” said a statement from Costa Cruises, the company that owns the Concordia. “The team is replacing the absorbing booms in the area.”

    The operation to refloat the Concordia began last Monday, when it was raised almost two metres in the water.

    Last night it was about six metres above the water level.

    The heavily listing ship was dragged upright in a daring maneuver last September, and then crews fastened huge tanks to its flanks to float it.

    If the final phase of the refloat goes according to plan, the Concordia will be towed by two powerful tug boats to the port of Genoa in north-west Italy, a journey of 200 nautical miles (320 kilometres) that will take about four days.

    The cost of recovering and demolishing the cruise liner is likely to reach at least €1.5 billion ($2.18 billion), according to Costa Cruises.

    Concordia’s Italian captain is being tried in Tuscany for manslaughter, causing the shipwreck and abandoning ship before all were evacuated.

    By Nick Squires, The Telegraph

    For more cruise news & articles go to http://www.cruisecrazies.com/index.html

    Re-posted on CruiseCrazies.com - Cruise News, Articles, Forums, Packing List, Ship Tracker, and more

    http://www.cruisecrazies.com

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