Cruise victim may have saved older man

Salvage work begins on the stricken cruise ship Costa Concordia.

Story highlights

  • A body is identified as a young bartender who may have helped save an older man's life
  • Authorities halt searches Sunday after the ship moves a few centimeters
  • Removing the wreckage will take months, officials say
A young bartender on board the doomed Costa Concordia cruise liner died in the ship's disaster -- and may have first helped save the life of an older man.
Officials said Sunday they identified a body found a day earlier as that of Erika Fani Soria Molina, a Peruvian. She was not wearing a life jacket. Witnesses and survivors have told of a Peruvian bartender who gave her jacket to an elderly man who survived.
The number of people confirmed dead from the ship stands at 17; another 15 are missing.
Authorities halted the search for victims Sunday after the ship jolted slightly and then slowly moved even further, totaling about 4 centimeters over a few hours, said Franco Gabrielli, who is heading the operation for the civil protection agency.
Officials are particularly concerned for divers who are searching submerged areas of the ship amidst a sea of debris that includes heavy items and wires.
The ship's movement renewed fears that the vessel could slide further.
Earthquakes in the region last week also stoked fears that the ship could plunge deeper into the waters.
The weather, with high winds and choppy waters, is halting salvage operations until Tuesday or Wednesday, officials said.
It will take months to remove the ship's wreckage, said Franco Gabrielli, who is heading the rescue operation for the civil protection agency.
Speaking Sunday at a news conference, Gabrielli said that if the ship does not slip into deeper waters, it will take at least seven to 10 months to remove the wreckage. And that process won't begin until after the fuel is removed from the coast of the island of Giglio, which could take 28 working days once it begins.
In the meantime, there will be no fishing, diving, snorkeling, or other normal use of the water near the wreckage, extending the disaster's economic toll.
About 4,200 people were on board when the Costa Concordia collided with rocks off Giglio on January 13.