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Damaged Concordia cruise ship to be removed from Giglio in June; final port to be decided

ROME - The Costa Concordia cruise ship wreck will be removed in June from its watery graveyard off Tuscany and taken to a port to be dismantled, the final phase of an unprecedented 600 million-euro ($817 million) salvage effort. At a news conference Friday, Italy's civil protection chief and Costa Crociere officials gave the timetable and the rundown of what was needed for the ship to be refloated. They spoke just days before the second anniversary of the ship's Jan. 13, 2012, grounding that killed 32 people.

Italy cruise wreck to be re-floated by June

The shipwrecked Costa Concordia cruise liner could be re-floated by June 2014, the engineer overseeing the long-delayed salvage operation off the Italian island of Giglio said on Saturday. He said giant tanks that will help float the ship will be fixed to its side by April, mirroring the ones already welded to the other side before the 290-metre (951-foot) ship was dragged upright in September.

Italian court hears panicked call to Concordia captain from scared crew in flooded engine room

ROME - Panicking crewmen in the engine room of the rapidly flooding Costa Concordia repeatedly tried to convey to their captain how badly crippled the cruise ship was after it slammed into a reef, but their dramatic assessments apparently failed to convince the commander to promptly order the luxury liner's evacuation.

Crewman says Concordia captain Schettino wasn't last to jump off ship onto lifeboat

ROME - A witness in the Costa Concordia shipwreck trial has described how the captain jumped aboard a lifeboat, testifying how the commander wasn't the last to abandon the rapidly capsizing luxury cruise ship. Francesco Schettino, the captain, is being tried in Tuscany for alleged manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing the shipwreck near the Tuscan island of Giglio in January 2012. Thirty-two people died in the capsizing.

Shipwreck captain 'jumped off' sinking Costa Concordia

A trainee officer on board the Costa Concordia when it sank off an Italian island last year told a court Monday that the captain did not fall off the stricken liner on to a lifeboat as he claims, but jumped to safety. "We found a lifeboat. I jumped on, (Francesco) Schettino had jumped on just before me," Stefano Iannelli told a court in Grosseto where the captain is on trial for manslaughter, abandoning ship and causing the disaster which left 32 people dead.

Moldovan dancer testifies she was Concordia captain's lover

A Moldovan dancer who was on the bridge of the Costa Concordia when it sank off Italy killing 32 people told a court Tuesday that she was Captain Francesco Schettino's lover. Domnica Cemortan, who is testifying in the trial against Schettino for manslaughter and abandoning ship, said she had dined with the captain before joining him on the bridge moments before the fatal crash. "Yes, I had a liaison with Francesco Schettino," the blonde said after being told she risked criminal charges for attempting to dodge the question in the interests of protecting her private life.

Moldovan dancer says she was Concordia captain's lover

By Cristiano Corvino GROSSETO, Italy (Reuters) - A young Moldovan dancer who was on the bridge of the Costa Concordia cruise liner with Captain Francesco Schettino when it capsized last year told an Italian court on Tuesday she had been his lover. Domnica Cemortan had previously denied any affair with Schettino, who faces multiple charges including manslaughter, and her confession may prompt prosecutors to query the quality of her testimony, which had shown him in a positive light.

Boskalis wins $30 million contract to remove wrecked Concordia

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch marine salvage company Royal Boskalis Westminster won a 30 million dollar contract to remove the wrecked cruise ship Costa Concordia from the waters around the Italian island of Giglio, the company said on Thursday. Following the successful righting of the gigantic floating hotel last month, Boskalis will load the 114,500-tonne liner onto its vessel, the Dockwise Vanguard, the world's largest lift ship, which will then take the liner away to be scrapped.

Oil rig ship planned for Italy cruise wreck removal

Cruise company Costa Crociere said Thursday it had signed a contract for a special ship used to lift oil platforms as a possible way of raising the wrecked Costa Concordia liner next year. The Dockwise Vanguard is "the world's largest semi-submersible ship", the company said in a statement, adding that it was "one of the possible options" for the removal planned next year. The Costa Concordia crashed into rocks off the Italian island of Giglio on the night of January 13, 2012 with 4,229 people from 70 countries on board in a tragedy that claimed 32 lives.

Netherlands' Boskalis says it has $30 million deal to move Costa Concordia shipwreck in 2014

AMSTERDAM - A Dutch salvaging company says it has won a $30 million contract to move the wreck of the Costa Concordia cruise ship next summer to a yet-to-be-determined site for dismantling. Thirty-two people died when the Concordia slammed into a reef off the Tuscan island of Giglio and capsized on Jan. 13, 2012. It was righted in a major operation last month and is now sitting on a platform on the seabed.
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