Did They Find All The Bodies On The Costa Concordia?



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The Costa Concordia was the biggest cruise ship disaster of recent times, when the ship hit rocks off the coast of a Tuscan island and partially sank.

33 people lost their lives due to the errors of the ship’s Captain, including 27 passengers, five crew members, and one member of the salvage team.

The Costa Concordia sinking
paolodefalco75, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons


But was everybody found? Let’s take a look.

How many bodies were found on the Costa Concordia?

All 32 bodies of those who died on the Costa Concordia were recovered, although only some of these were discovered in the imminent aftermath of the disaster. In total, it took almost three years to find the last body, which happened during the scrapping of the ship.

Costa Concordia now
Rvongher, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The 33rd casualty was never lost at sea – he was a Spanish diver working on the wreck in 2014, preparing it to be righted and towed. He cut his leg on a sheet of metal during the operation, and while he was brought to the surface by a fellow diver, he later died.

Where were the bodies found on the Costa Concordia?

The first 17 victims of the Costa Concordia disaster were found in the water and in various accessible parts of the ship when the search first began. Other bodies were found between the hull and the seabed, on Deck 4, and on Deck 3, in difficult parts of the ship to search.

Here’s a timeline of the bodies being found:

  • 13th January 2012 – the Costa Concordia partially sinks. Within the next couple of days, the initial bodies are recovered, with 17 people found and a further 15 confirmed to be missing.
  • February 2012 – a mini-submarine is sent to search the lifeboat deck (Deck 4) which has previously been unsearched due to it being difficult to access. Eight bodies are recovered, including an American couple, a German couple, and the youngest victim, a 5-year-old girl from Italy. Seven bodies remain unaccounted for.
  • March 2012 – as the ship is prepared for the parbuckling process which will right it in the water, five further bodies are found trapped between the hull and the seabed.
  • October 2013 – with the ship now righted, searches continue and one more body is found, the last passenger – Maria Grazia Trecarichi. Only a crew member remains unaccounted for.
  • November 2014 the final body is found in a cabin while the ship is being dismantled in Genoa.

After the initial victims were recovered, efforts were made to find the bodies amongst the shipwreck, but they proved difficult.

It wasn’t until April when a previously unsearched area of the lifeboat deck was explored by a mini-submarine, and that’s when eight of the missing bodies were found. It appears as those some of the victims may have been sucked into an elevator shaft or were trapped in the elevators.

The next five bodies were found by divers who were working to set up a robotic device to search the ship as it was being prepared for parbuckling. The bodies had been trapped between the hull and the seabed for over 18 months by this point.

Did they find the last two bodies on the Costa Concordia?

The last two bodies were found on the Costa Concordia but only once the ship had been righted. The last passenger to be discovered was Maria Grazia Trecarichi, who was found trapped near the third deck at the back of the ship, in an area where dishes were washed.

What costa concordia looks like before sinking
Kate Hopkins from Seattle, WA, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Because of the location of the body, it was originally believed that it was the body of the missing crew member, although later tests confirmed it was Maria.

The Last Body Found on the Costa Concordia

The last body to be found on the Costa Concordia was that of Russel Rebello, an Indian waiter on the ship. His body was recovered from a cabin during the scrappage of the ship.

By this time the ship had been righted and towed to Genoa. The dismantling of the ship began in July 2014, and it wasn’t until November that Russel’s body was found. Once the remains were recovered, the body was identified and then received by Russel’s brother, to be flown back to Mumbai to be buried.

Is the Costa Concordia still there?

The Costa Concordia is no longer where it sank. She was removed in 2014 and towed to Genoa, where she was dismantled, with the process taking three years in total and being completed in July 2017.

Costa Concordia scraped
Photo: Rab Lawrence, (CC BY 2.0)

All of the bodies on Costa Concordia were recovered, and the ship has been completely broken down. 

Read more: Where Is The Costa Concordia Cruise Ship Now?

While it was extremely tragic that these people lost their lives as part of the disaster, it may provide some comfort to the families to have recovered the bodies for proper burial ceremonies and other forms of grieving.

Often when ships sink, the bodies can be lost at sea. But because of the nature of the disaster, being so close to land, most people were able to escape, and those that sadly died did so on the ship itself or in the entry to the water.

The incident has been attributed to the error of Captain Schettino, and hopefully with all the new processes we have in place to avoid any course changes that he made, we won’t see another disaster like it. 

If you want to know what happened to the Captain after the sinking, then read this article next: What Happened To The Costa Concordia Captain.

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Cruise Mummy

Jenni Fielding is the founder of Cruise Mummy. She has worked in the cruise industry since 2015 and has taken over 30 cruises. Now, she helps over 1 million people per month to plan their perfect cruise holidays.

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