Continuing the search in tandem with the salvage operation on the Costa Concordia has not been ruled out. A scientific and technical committee is expected to give an answer if that is possible on Sunday evening.
The Dutch salvage company will connect a hot tap device and operate a series of pumps and valves to pump out almost 2,500 tons of the vessel’s thick fuel.
And its not just a fuel spill which could contaminate these waters of one of the Mediterranean’s most prized and pristine maritime reserves. There is almost 200 tons of diesel oil and other environmentally hazardous materials on the ship.
If divers continue to work below decks during the operation it could prove to be a dangerous task. Removing the huge weight of the fuel may cause the ship to move again shifting everything on board.
The salvage operation could take up to two weeks.