The COSTA DIADEMA in the port of Piombino

The Diadema, a vessel belonging to the Italian Costa Cruises company, has been berthed in the port of Piombino, with 1255 people on board since March 29th, due to the necessity to proceed with disembarking and repatriation operations for its crewmembers.
In order to improve the management and coordination of such operations, made even more complex by certain members of the crew testing positive to COVID-19, as well as to ensure the best response times to any scenario, a “Control Room” has been set up for this purpose with personnel from the Port Network Authority’s Territorial Office in Piombino, the Maritime Authority, Piombino Municipality , the State Police, the Military Police , the Revenue Corps , USMAF (Maritime, Air and Border Health Offices) , Costa Cruises and Freschi Alessandro & C. shipping agency (as the relevant registered agency).
On the quayside where the ship is moored, a so-called “Sterile Area” has been designated, through a specific Ordinance issued by the Port Network Authority. An advanced medical facility has been set up there. It is being managed by the “Remote Health Rescue Operations Centre for the coordination of emergency medical assistance as well as the Regional Health Contacts in case of national emergency” (CROSS). The area, which can only be accessed by authorized personnel, is manned 24 hours a day by Port Security staff, under the coordination of the police forces.
By the same Ordinance, adjacent to the “Sterile Area”, a so-called “Service Area” has also been individuated, with more limited controls, intended for the circulation of vehicles and persons providing support services to the ship itself.
The crew members on board, all in preventive isolation inside the passenger cabins, are constantly monitored by the ship’s doctor.

Waste disposal

The President of Tuscany Regional Administration issued an ordinance on 5th April 2020, in relation to the need to unload sewage and wastewater originating from domestic utilities (toilets, showers, laundries, etc.) from the vessel. The ordinance has allowed the waste on board to be transferred directly onto 30 m3 tanker trucks for subsequent delivery to the public sewage and purification service.
This authorization, given the current ‘detention’ condition of the ship in port and the epidemiological emergency situation, was issued as a matter of urgency in view of the pressing need for the ship to discharge large quantities of the sewage in question produced during navigation. Under normal circumstances, this type of vessel waste would have treated with on-board equipment and then discharged into the sea where permitted. The validity of the Ordinance, one month from its approval and renewable (assessments are underway as to its effective appropriateness), is in any case expected to expire once a special temporary pipeline has been set up ,as soon as possible, by the Port Network Authority, so as to limit the impacts of the operations of wastewater discharge by tanker trucks to a minimum.
That being said, at present the situation is substantially stable, and constantly monitored by the afore- mentioned Control Room in order to keep all parties involved, public and private, updated.