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The Costa Concordia wreck re-float operation on July 21, 2014 in Giglio Porto, Italy. The 114,500 ton ship ran aground in January of 2012. The ships captain could face 20 years in prison.
The Costa Concordia wreck re-float operation on July 21, 2014 in Giglio Porto, Italy. The 114,500 ton ship ran aground in January of 2012. The ships captain could face 20 years in prison.Federico Scoppa—Demotix/Corbis
The Costa Concordia wreck re-float operation on July 21, 2014 in Giglio Porto, Italy. The 114,500 ton ship ran aground in January of 2012. The ships captain could face 20 years in prison.
A detail in the interior of Costa Concordia cruise ship wreck off coast Giglio island, Italy on 21 July 2014. All floors of the ship were cleaned to prevent toxic chemicals from spilling into the water.
Costa Concordia re-float operation close to the end on July 21, 2014 in Giglio Porto, Italy. Air-filled steel boxes acted as pontoons, forcing the ship into an upright position.
Inside view of Costa Concordia prepared for refloating
The Costa Concordia liner on July 21, 2014 in Giglio Porto, Italy.
Handout picture shows an area inside the Costa Concordia cruise liner at Giglio Island
Costa Concordia re float operation close to the end on July 21, 2014 in Giglio Porto, Italy. The floatation and and salvage costs will exceed $1.5 billion.
Inside view of Costa Concordia prepared for refloating
ITALY-SHIPPING-TOURISM-ACCIDENT
Inside view of Costa Concordia prepared for refloating
Youths play football at a beach as the Costa Concordia cruise liner is seen during its refloating operation at Giglio harbour
Black smoke comes out from the back of the Costa Concordia cruise liner during its refloat operation at Giglio harbor on July 23, 2014.
Italy Shipwreck
An aerial photo of the wrecked Italian cruise liner the Costa Concordia as it is towed on its final journey to the port of Genoa, Italy from Giglio Island, Italy 240 kilometers away on July 23, 2014.
The Costa Concordia wreck re-float operation on July 21, 2014 in Giglio Porto, Italy. The 114,500 ton ship ran aground i
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Federico Scoppa—Demotix/Corbis
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The Costa Concordia Makes Its Final Voyage

Jul 23, 2014

Two and a half years have passed since the cruise ship Costa Concordia ran aground outside of Giglio, Italy, killing 32 people and leaving the ship partially submerged in shallow water. Salvage crews worked tirelessly to re-float the wreck last week, filling steel boxes with air to serve as pontoons. Other boats will now tow the ship on its 240-kilometer (150-mile) journey to Genoa, Italy.

The Costa Concordia operation is the largest salvage attempt to date, with the ship weighing in at 114,500 tons. Dismantling the vessel on the reef was not an option. “It’s far more dangerous to the environment to leave it where it is than to tow it away,” Italy’s civil-protection chief Franco Gabrielli told Giglio residents.

The floatation and salvation project is expected to cost more than $2 billion. TIME takes a look at the Costa Concordia's journey so far.

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