(Photo: REUTERS/Italian Guardia di Finanza)
The Costa Concordia ship that recently crashed could take at least a year's time to remove from the area it is currently lodged in, according to reports.
Companies are currently throwing in their bids to remove the remains of the cruise liner and Costa is expected to make a decision on one within the coming weeks. Due to costs and methods, the removal of a ship this massive could take up to 10 months, according to NBC.
The ship is located just off the Tuscan coast where officials are still sifting through the wreckage in search of survivors. The area was dominated by high winds and rough sea conditions that postponed the search for a few days.
They plan to begin pumping 500,000 gallons of fuel off the Concordia when the recovery effort continues in the middle of this week. There was a barge attached to the ship carrying equipment used for pumping and it was withdrawn after strong winds and high waves worsened conditions for the divers working on the wreck.
The environment around the ship is in danger from the fuel and it could take up to one month to remove it from the Costa Concordia.
The ship shifted over one and a half inches during a six hour period due to the harsh weather conditions and rescue divers were pulled from the water and will resume their efforts once the things clear up.
The divers found a 17th body on Saturday that was identified as Erika Soria Molina, a crew member from Peru. There are still 16 passengers who are unaccounted for.
Officials commented on the status of the operation.
"Our first goal was to find people alive," said Franco Gabrielli, the national civil protection official in charge of the operation in a daily briefing. "Now we have a single, big goal, and that is that this does not translate into an environmental disaster."