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Costa Concordia owner agrees to pay $1.3 million penalty

Costa Cruises, the unit of Carnival Corp. that owned and operated the capsized cruise liner Costa Concordia, accepted a 1 million euro ($1.31 million) fine to settle potential criminal charges in connection with last year's deadly accident off the coast of Italy.

"This is a balanced decision," Costa Cruises lawyer Marco De Luca said after the ruling. "It is the most reasonable solution."

The settlement means Costa Cruises will not face a criminal trial and it ends the company’s potential liability with the Italy, but not private lawsuits brought by passengers or crew, prosecution sources said according to a report by Reuters.

Capt. Francesco Schettino remains accused of manslaughter, causing a shipwreck and abandoning the ship, which was carrying more than 4,000 passengers and crew, and could face as much as 20 years in jail. Thirty-two passengers died in the accident.

Click here for the full report in The Maritime Executive.

Meanwhile, salvage operations continue on the 950-foot ship, still lying on its side, half submerged on the rocky Tuscany coast.

Nearly a year after salvage work began last May, salvor Titan Salvage began installing the first of five subsea platforms that will provide a safe supporting structure for the wreck after it is rotated into a vertical position (“parbuckling,” as it is known).

Click here for an explanation of how the procedure is expected to work.

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