In what must've been a wrenching decision, Italian rescue officials called off their search for missing passengers of the partially submerged Costa Concordia Tuesday, citing dangerous conditions to the rescuers. "We have definitively stopped the underwater search inside the ship," the AFP quoted a spokesman for the fire brigade on the island of Giglio as saying. According to the Associated Press, "Italy's Civil Protection agency said Tuesday that technical studies indicated that the deformed hull of the ship created too many safety concerns to continue the search." Relatives of the missing passengers and diplomats have been notified of the decision. Fox News reports that the decision to call of the search is permanent because it's simply too dangerous for the divers.
On Monday, reports indicated that the cleanup and removal of the ship could take up to 10 months "Inclement weather over the weekend shut down search and salvage efforts at the site of the ship wreck off the Tuscan coast," reported MSNBC. "High winds and rough seas delayed plans to begin pumping 500,000 gallons of fuel off the Concordia. That effort will likely continue midweek. A barge carrying pumping equipment that was attached to the capsized ship was withdrawn after strong winds and high waves worsened conditions for the divers working on the huge wreck." While the news is undoubtedly heartbreaking to many of the families of missing people, as of yesterday, officials ruled out finding anyone alive given that two weeks had passed since the wreck.