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Costa Concordia wreck becomes tourist site

The refloating of the Costa Concordia is expected to be delayed until next spring, and day trips to see the cruise ship are now being offered.

Project officials had expected to refloat the semisubmerged vessel about mid-January, but that’s not likely to happen until March or April, according to published reports. The salvage plan has had to be constantly updated as technologies and operational solutions are tested to ensure they are feasible and effective.

The nearly 1,000-foot cruise liner, which Carnival Corp.'s Costa Cruises unit operates, capsized Jan. 13 off the Tuscan island of Giglio after it struck rocks.

Tourists now can pay about $12 and take a day trip to see the wreck. Ferries pass within a few feet of the Costa Concordia.

Meanwhile, a formal probe continues. Costa Crociere, the cruise ship’s operator, and the Costa Concordia captain are under investigation. Authorities want to know why the ship was sailing so close to the island at high speed and why an evacuation was delayed for more than an hour after the crash when the ship already was listing badly.

Click here for a complete report and click here for an update from Italy’s civil protection agency.

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