A year after the ship ran aground — leaving 30 dead — questions remain about its captain, the risk to marine life and when the Costa Concordia will be removed.
The Costa Concordia cruise liner lies on its side off a small island near the coast of Tuscany one year after it ran aground.
The captain accused of abandoning the ship for land as hundreds of his passengers struggled to make it to lifeboats has yet to be tried. Toxic substances in the ship's hold have yet to be drained.
"Everyone here will be thankful when the ship is finally moved and our lives can go back to normal," said Sergio Ortelli, mayor of Isola del Giglio.
People will gather on the island of Giglio on Sunday to mark the one-year anniversary of the disaster that left 30 people dead. Ship sirens will go off at 9:42 p.m., the moment the liner collided with a reef and listed to one side.
There are plans to use the massive 80-ton boulder that tore a hole in the side of the ship to be moved to the island as part of a memorial to the incident.
The ship's 4,252 passengers and crew were enjoying the evening and passing close to the picturesque island of Giglio when Le Scole reef tore open a huge gash in the hull of the Costa Concordia.
An investigation showed that Capt. Francesco Schettino deviated from the programmed route and piloted the boat too close to shore. His reasons for the deviation are not clear.
Schettino appeared in headlines worldwide when he left the ship and headed on a lifeboat to land while hundreds of passengers were still aboard and rescue operations were underway.
An audio recording of the Coast Guard harbor master, Gregorio Maria De Falco, berating Schettino went viral. De Falco repeatedly ordered Schettino to return to the ship, angrily shouting, "Vada a bordo, cazzo!" ("Get on board, for [expletive] sake!" when the captain refused to return.
"Captain," said De Falco at one point, "This is an order. Now I am in command. You have declared the abandoning of a ship and are going to coordinate the rescue from the bridge. What do you want to do? Go home?
"You saved yourself from the sea, but ... I am going to make you pay for this."
De Falco was made a hero by the Italian media, and Schettino was dubbed "Captain Coward." The investigation into his actions that night is ongoing. Schettino faces charges of manslaughter negligence, incompetence and abandoning the ship but has yet to be formally indicted.
Schettino complained this week that he was being demonized for an accident that has many to blame and is being portrayed as "worse than bin Laden." Prosecutor Francesco Verusio said Thursday that Schettino must be held accountable for "guiding a ship longer than (1,000 feet) and with more than 4,000 people on board as if it were a canoe."