Almost a year ago, more than 3,000 people were relaxing aboard the opulent cruise liner Costa Concordia at the start of a week-long Mediterranean cruise. Today the ship is the subject of possibly the largest and most daunting marine salvage operation ever attempted.
Pockmarked with rust smears, its once bright paintwork bleached by the sun, the hulk of the Costa Concordia makes a forlorn spectacle.
Winter storms have battered its exposed flanks, making the work of the 400-strong salvage team even more difficult.
It was originally planned that the vessel would be removed from Giglio by the spring of 2013. However, work is now expected to be complete "by the end of summer".
No operation on the scale of that to recover the Costa Concordia has ever been attempted. It is being carried out by salvage companies Titan and Micoperi, and will unfold in several stages.
This is a very delicate and unusual operation. We have no reference here”
Franco Porcellacchia Project director, Costa-Carnival group
The basic plan is to roll the ship upright and then refloat it using huge metal boxes, or caissons, welded to its sides.
The vessel, which still contains tonnes of rotting food, furniture, bedding and passengers' belongings, will then be towed away intact to prevent damage to the environment.