Work to turn the stricken Concordia cruise ship upright is set to start next week, 20 months after it capsized of the Italian coast, killing 32 people.
National Civil Protection agency chief Franco Gabrielli said attempts to right the ship could begin as soon as September 16. He stressed that the exact date for the operation will only be known the day before, since the final decision depends upon weather and sea conditions.
The ship will eventually be towed away and scrapped.
The Concordia's hull was gashed by a reef it struck when sailing close to Giglio's rocky shores in January last year. It rapidly took on water and capsized. Its captain is being tried for manslaughter and abandoning ship.