Bouquets of red roses into the sea, close to the vessel of Costa Concordia: the family members of people still missing one month after the Costa Concordia disaster mourned in a private tribute Monday.
The relatives boarded a small boat that took them 50 yards close to the wreck. Seventeen people died after the Costa Concordia ran aground, while trying to flee and 15 remain missing and are presumed dead. The search for the missing has been hampered by rough seas, with authorities ending the search in the submerged part of the ship due to the danger to rescue divers.
Among parents and family members at the scene of the tragedy was Susy Albertini, the mother of Dayana Arlotti 5-year-old and wife of Williamo Arlotti.
Dayana Arlotti was on the cruise with her father and his girlfriend, who survived the tragedy. William and Dayana disappeared after they returned to the cabin to get medicine for his severe diabetes, the Italian daily Corriere della Sera reported. Family members seeking news called his cell phone for days after the tragedy until it stopped ringing on the fifth day.
“I haven’t lost hope yet, anything can still happen, a miracle. He may be injured, he may have lost consciousness, anything may have happened. I still have hope, I always have hope, hope is the last thing to die,” Kevin Rebello, the brother of a missing crew member from India, said. “I hope I will find him as soon as possible, to bring him home.”
Kevin Rebello attended, together with the families of missing French and German passengers.
The relatives hugged each other as the roses floated on the Mediterranean Sea. Rebello said Monday’s anniversary was the hardest day yet since the shipwreck.
A statue of the Virgin Mary was retrieved from the ship and donated by the Costa Crociere SpA cruise company that owns the Concordia was placed in the main port church for memorial Mass held later Monday. Along with relatives of the missing, Pier Luigi Foschi, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Costa Crociere S.p.A attended the service.
On Sunday, both Italian President Giorgio Napolitano and the country’s leading bishop, Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco, demanded justice for the Costa Concordia’s victims – imploring those in authority involved to tell the truth about what happened onboard the cruise ship Costa Concordia.
President Giorgio Napolitano greeted relatives of the victims in Rome and told them that what transpired was the responsibility of Italy and Italians. He said the investigation will continue and praised Italian prosecutors for their investigative work thus far.
Cardinal Angelo Bagnasco also journeyed to Isola del Giglio. On Sunday, he thanked island residents for their efforts to assist thousands of passengers and crew who evacuated the ship and ventured ashore after the accident.
Another memorial service is planned today in Giglio – to observe the one month anniversary of the tragic accident.
“The feeling that has always been with me during these 30 days and today is sorrow. Sorrow for those who died, for those who are missing,” said the Rev. Lorenzo Pasquotti.
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