Debris from the stricken Costa Concordia has washed up on the Tuscan shore as a painful reminder that more than 20 people remain missing.
Of the 4,200 people on board the cruise liner, 11 others are confirmed dead.
As victims’ relatives travelled to the scene of the disaster to throw flowers into the water, it now seems impossible that any survivors will be found.
Yet hope persists, as recognised by the lawyer for one missing woman’s family.
“Hope is found in people’s souls. So it has no limits,” said Cristina Botto, who represents relatives of Maria D’Introno, a 30-year-old Italian woman who has not been seen since last Friday’s accident.
“The bodies have still not all been found, so it is human. It is even a duty to keep hoping. Sometimes, tragedies like the tsunami teach us that survivors can be found a long time afterwards. As long as the ship has not been totally searched and totally checked, we can’t say anything. We simply want to hope.”
Others being sought by rescue workers include a five-year-old girl and her father.