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Saturday 21 October 2017

Celebrations as stricken Costa Concordia sets out on final voyage

The Costa Concordia cruise liner has begun its final voyage, being towed slowly away from the tiny Italian island where it capsized in 2012, killing 32 people.

Sirens on nearby boats wailed and bells on the island tolled just before two tugboats pulled the Concordia away from Giglio's port, where the luxury liner ended up on its side after striking a reef when its captain steered too close to the island.

The tugs are taking the crippled ship on a four-day journey to Genoa, home to the ship's owner, Costa Crociere Spa. The vessel will be reduced to scrap there.

Daring

A daring engineering operation set the Concordia upright in September in preparation for removal. The salvage master of the operation, Nick Sloane, told reporters he was nervous just before boarding the Concordia to monitor the final voyage.

"It's a moment for sobriety and sorrowful respect for those who are no more," said Franco Gabrielli, the Italian government official monitoring the removal process.

Another search will now be launched for the body of the one victim that was never found.

The Concordia's Italian captain is on trial for multiple manslaughter.

hnews@herald.ie

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