Search for Cruise Ship Victims Back On—for Now
Costa Concordia operation may soon shift from rescue to recovery
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2012 7:47 AM CST
Updated Jan 19, 2012 8:11 AM CST
People view the cruise ship Costa Concordia as it lays on its side after running aground off the tiny Tuscan island of Giglio, Italy, Thursday, Jan. 19, 2012.   (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)

(Newser) – Rescue efforts are back on at the site of the half-submerged Costa Concordia—but they may not last long. Overnight tests revealed it was safe to send divers back to the scene, reports the AFP, and a rep for the coast guard explained that the plan is to use "micro-explosives to open more holes" by which to enter the ship. But CNN reports that authorities may soon put a stop to the rescue operation and shift into "recovery" mode. Declaring it as such would permit salvage workers to pump out fuel from the ship's tanks, avoiding an environmental mess.

A Dutch company is apparently at the ready, prepared to begin pumping out the 2,380 tons of fuel in the Costa Concordia's tanks; a rep for Smit Salvage says it could take two to four weeks to do so. Discussions will then take place about if—and how—the shipwreck should be removed. Click to read about one of the ship's heroes—and victims.