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Divers Continue Search on Italian Cruise Ship

An oil recovery sea platform is seen next to the Costa Concordia cruise ship off the west coast of Italy, at Giglio island, January 26, 2012.

Divers have resumed search efforts to find those missing onboard the Costa Concordia cruise ship that wrecked off the northwestern coast of Italy earlier this month.

German and Italian authorities on Wednesday identified the remains of three German passengers recovered from the disaster. Sixteen deaths have been confirmed, while 17 others are still missing from the ship, which tipped over and lies half-submerged near Giglio island.

Salvage crews are working to prepare for emptying the vessel's fuel tanks on Saturday.

Ship captain Francesco Schettino
Ship captain Francesco Schettino

The captain of the ship, Francesco Schettino, remains under house arrest, accused of manslaughter and abandoning ship before all of the vessel's 4,200 passengers could reach safety.

Italian media quoted Schettino as saying he sailed his ship too close to the wreck site near Giglio island in a "salute" that he said was "arranged and wanted" by Costa Cruises executives for publicity reasons. Ship owners have not commented on the allegations.

Some information for this report was provided by AP.