Acadiana Business

John Mosier Lights Up the Italian Coast

by Patrick Flanagan

A Lafayette businessman's specialized subsea lighting equipment lands him a job on the Costa Concordia salvage project.

When the massive cruise liner Costa Concordia met its demise along the Tuscan coast last January, it didn't take long for Lafayette businessman John Mosier to get a phone call requesting his services at the Giglio Island wreck site.

Systems like the Sea Sunk 4K used by Mosier are revolutionizing marine salvage.

Mosier's role in the salvage project - considered the largest in history - centers on a specialized subsea lighting equipment, first made famous for its role in the 1989 sci-fi underwater thriller The Abyss.

Members of a salvage dive team assist in a test of the Sea Sun 4k underwater lighting system.

After working about 20 years as a diver, Mosier and business partner Frank Bantle Jr. started Fast Forward Rentals, and in 2005, introduced the SeaSun system to the Gulf of Mexico, assisting with hurricane recovery, downed platforms and underwater construction projects. The Italian job, though, is the first of its kind for the company, says Mosier.

"We were hired by Titan Salvage out of Florida to supply our SeaSun lighting systems," Mosier told ABiz in a December interview shortly after his return from Italy. "I went out in October, air-freighted our equipment out to Italy, set up the systems on the Concordia and then trained an eight different nationality dive crew. We can make 4,000 square feet under water light up brighter than daylight."

At the time of December's interview, conducted just before year's end, Mosier already was gearing up to leave for his second trip to the Italian coastline.

"The last time I was there for about 25 days, and it was just work, work, work," says Mosier. "I'd gone over there with every intention of having time to myself. This time I'll still have a bunch of work, but maybe I'll get a little time off."

John Mosier

The entire undertaking could take up to two years for completion and is expected to cost anywhere between $400 million and $500 million.

The salvage of the Costa Concordia cruise ship provided John Mosier with an opportunity to grow his business.

"We're not exactly sure how long our involvement will be, but if everything stays on schedule, they should be rolling the vessel over in August, refloat it and tow it to port to dismantle," says Mosier, who would not to say how much of a cut his company gets for its work on the project. "It'll at least be a year or two project from beginning to end."