Costa Concordia

Nineteen months after the Costa Concordia ran aground, locals and tourists work and play in the shadow of the wreck. Salvage crews, meanwhile, toil furiously

Costa Concordia: A hulking reminder of tragedy sits off Giglio, Italy

By Tom Kington, Los Angeles Times

This summer, tourists on the Tuscan island of Giglio have been heading for the pretty palm-lined beach at the port, soaking up the sun and swimming out to a line of buoys. Beyond is the capsized cruise ship Costa Concordia, sitting in shallow water where passengers were sucked to their deaths by whirlpools created as the giant vessel lurched onto its side.

Nineteen months after the 950-foot-long ship slammed into rocks off this Mediterranean island and came to a precarious rest on two granite outcrops, the captain, Francesco Schettino, is on trial on charges of manslaughter in the deaths of 32 people who never made it ashore on the night of Jan. 13, 2012.

Salvage crews and divers are working around the clock to prepare for hoisting the 114,000-ton ship upright in September, before winter storms make the wreck, with its sodden mattresses, scattered deck chairs and rotten food, even more unstable.

Tourists marvel at the ship, but then unroll their towels and appear to ignore it, preferring to leap off the floating platform set up for kids or to hunt for crabs in the rock pools where most of the Costa Concordia’s 4,200 bedraggled passengers and crew members crawled to safety.

“We call them pilgrims,” a man who works on the island and declined to be named said of the tourists. “The ship is like a totem; they see it, they think how……[access full article]

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