A memorial to mark the six-month anniversary of the Costa Concordia tragedy, and pay tribute to the 32 who died, was conducted at the site on the Italian island of Giglio July 13. Family members of victims came to the island to honor their loved ones.
The partially sunk 114,500 tonne ship lies some 300 metres off-shore, a constant reminder of the tragedy to the island and a constant backdrop to the memorial service held Friday. Ships in the area sounded their horns as Bishop Guillermo Borghetti, and others, offered up prayers for those who lost their lives.
When the ship hit a reef and a giant rock imbedded itself in the hull, she listed badly and partially sank. Over 4200 passengers and crew were onboard and it is widely believed that all may have survived had the evacuation order been given earlier.
Captain Schettino apologizes
The tragedy is being blamed on the ship's captain, Francesco Schettino, who awaits his trial on manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and of abandoning his ship before all passengers were evacuated. Earlier this week, on Italy's Canale TV 5 Schettino gave his first media interview since the disaster, apologizing but not taking the blame. “When there’s an accident, it’s not just the ship that’s identified or the company,” Schettino said. “The captain is identified and so it’s normal that I should apologize as a representative of this system."
An American salvage company, Titan Salvage, is leading the salvage operation and along with an Italian company, Micoperi, is working on refloating the Costa Concordia and towing her to an (as yet unidentified) port to be scrapped. That work is expected to be done by the end of January.
Of the 32 dead, two bodies have yet to be recovered. Elio Vincenzi, the husband of Maria Grazia, whose body is one of the two that has not been found, told media at the memorial that the sea did not take his wife but "human stupidity" did.