Maltese-Owned Vessel Contracted for Costa Concordia Salvage

Daniela Bartolo | Published on 30 Jan 2012

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A Maltese oil spill recovery vessel has been contracted to assist in the salvage of the Italian cruise liner Costa Concordia, which was rendered out of service on the 13th January 2012 following a 160 ft tear in the hull which eventually caused its capsizing in the Tyrrhenian Sea, near the western coast of Italy.

The Salina Bay, owned and operated by the Island Bunker Oils group, has been contracted by the company responsible for the £5m salvage operation. Its role will be to assist in the recovery of 3000 tons of fuel oil from the Italy-registered Costa Concordia. The vessel will be providing oil spill containment and protecting the marine environment of the declared natural reserve area of the Tuscany Coast.

The role of the Malta Flag, a fully equipped Oil-Spill Recovery Vessel contracted to the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA), is crucial to ensure that the fuel from Costa Concordia’s 13 double-bottomed tanks and 10 single-bottom tanks is removed.

The operation is expected to last between four to six weeks.

From an international perspective, in light of the 1989 Salvage Convention, salvors are entitled to a special compensation when preserving and minimizing damage to the environment with the amount of the salvage award possibly increased up to a maximum of 30% of the expenses incurred by the salvor. The possibility exists that an arbitrator may increase the special compensation to 100% of the expenses incurred, if warranted by circumstances. 

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