POMPANO BEACH, Fla., May 19 (UPI) -- It will take crews up to a year to remove the Costa Concordia cruise ship from the Tuscan coast of Italy, officials said.
Titan Salvage of Pompano Beach, Fla., is working with its Italian partner, Micoperi, on removing the ship, which ran aground off the island of Giglio, killing 32 passengers and crew, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.
Titan Salvage and Micoperi are to re-float the 950-foot Costa Concordia and remove the ship in one piece, which should minimize environmental damage.
"We are very pleased to have been chosen to perform this incredible operation to remove the wreck of Costa Concordia," said Richard Habib, managing director of Titan Salvage. "Our quality engineering and the experience we have gained in this area allowed us to present a project that met expectations. From now on we will work with the aim of preserving the environment and the natural habitat."
Italy's ANSA news agency said crews would take nine to 12 months to remove the ship.
By the end of August, the ship should be secure so it's no longer at risk of slipping on rocks, ANSA said.