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article imageOne-year anniversary of Costa Concordia sinking is Sunday

By Marcus Hondro     Jan 10, 2013 in World
The tragedy of the cruise liner the Costa Concordia turns one-year-old on Jan. 13. Italian authorities will mark the date with a memorial on the island of Giglio, where the ship hit rocks and listed. Sixty-five percent of the ship remains underwater.
Part of the massive rock the hull of the Costa Concordia hit, and which embedded into the ship, has been removed and will be on shore for Sunday; a plaque to commemorate the disaster and honor those who died will be mounted on the rock. That same chunk of rock will eventually be returned to its original place in the waters of the Tuscan Bay.
Costa Concordia; Schettino faces multiple charges
Thirty-two people of the over 4,000 passengers and crew on the ship that night died - two bodies have yet to be recovered - and many more were injured. The 114,500 ton ship, twice the size of the Titanic, was taken too close to the shore of Giglio Island by her captain, Francesco Schettino, who is alleged to have been 'saluting' a former colleague. Schettino has been charged with manslaughter, contravening laws of the sea and abandoning his ship. Other employees of Costa Cruises, owner/operator of the Costa Concordia, including Schettino's first officer, have also been charged.
The ship still sits 300 meters off-shore of Giglio and an American company, Titan Salvage, along with an Italian company, Micoperi, are working on refloating it and towing it to a port for scrapping. They initially expected to tow the ship by the end of January; that date has been moved more than once and the latest word is that the ship will not be gone until September.
The entire weekend on the island will feature events to mark the occasion and honor victims. The families of victims will be on Giglio, to be flown in by Costa Cruises, The company has sent a letter to other passengers and crew discouraging them from attending, saying it would be hard to accommodate everyone and "the occasion will be dedicated to the families of those who are no longer with us."
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