Transcript for Ghost Ship: Looking Back at the Costa Concordia
This nightmare of carnival. Reporter: Coming just over a year since the "costa concordia" turned deadly. Tonight here w reback on the scene. Why is the ship still lying on its side all these months the later. And dan harris went back to italy to find out more. Reporter: It was one of the largest, costliest and arguably most infamous cruise ship disasters since the "titanic." The "costa concordia." A 15-story luxury liner which ran aground off the coast of italy on friday the 13th of january, 2012, killing 32 people. But in the last 13 months as the story has faded from the headlines what has happened to the man they called "captain coward," blamed for causing the crash and abandoning ship? To the passengers who barely escaped. What about the ship itself? We took a journey to find out. On a ferry off the coast of tuscany, an hour into our voyage it came looming into sight. That is extraordinary. A 60,000 ton behemoth, beached in pristine, environmentally sensitive waters. More than a year after it went down the costa concordia is still here surrounded by cranes and vessels carrying out an extraordinary, expensive, unprecedented salvage operation, to turn this massive hunk of steeup right and float it away. The plan is audacious. Weld a series of enormous buoyancy tanks to one side of the boat which, will be used to rotate it upright. It will land, they hope, on an enormous steel bed and then be towed away to a scrap yard. And will cost more than half a billion dollars. And it might not even work. It's a far cry from the ship's heyday. Before she was rusting and rotting. She was a glittery city at sea the captain, a made-for-tv villain named francesco schettino, who favors dark suits, sunglasses and slicked-back hair, and who, in the dark of night, three hours into a ten day cruise decided to attempt a risky maneuver taking the ship off course to do a sail-by salute to honor a fellow captain who lived on the tiny island of giglio. The giant ship came too close and hit an underwater rock. For an hour, as panic set in, the crew told the 3,200 passengers to return to their cabins. That it was just a minor technical problem. By the time schettino got around to issuing the abandon-ship order the vessel was in chaos with people pushing one another to get to lifeboats and some of them jumping to their deaths. Lynn kaelin, from seattle, documented the chaos, confusion and brutality. There were no women and children at first. It was total chaos. Reporter: Members of the ananias family, from california, were among the last off the ship. We knew, it was a desperate moment. We told our daughters that, go ahead, our life -- save yourselves. Save yourselves. We go as a family. Reporter: Meanwhile, captain schettino was long gone. He later said he'd tripped and fell, into a lifeboat. A coast guard official was recorded screaming at the captain to go back and help. Damn it, go back onboard." There were heroes that night including the people on giglio island. On that tshl night, many of the passengers and crew jumped in the waters and swam to those rocks and were tendsed by by the villag villagers the mayor made a stroid decision. You ordered people to open their homes and businesses to the survivors. Why did do you that? Some of them were soaking wet and frightened. Many of them were elderly and some of them children. This man still cries when he recalls the night the town opened up to the wet and wounded. It's tough for you to talk about. My mind goes back to that night, he says, and the emotion of the day returns. The island was flooded with family members like kevin rebelo. Who we met as he was looking for his brother, russel, a waiter on the "concordia." I have an instinct that says, he's somewhere around. I hope he's alive. Reporter: Four weeks a guy, he hosted survivors and victims' family members for the one year anniversary. Kevin rebello was there. His brother, still missing and now counted as one of the dead. For my me family and me, it's very important. Reporter: There was a concert, and a minute of silence at the exact moment, 9:45 p.M. When the "concordia" ran aground, 32 lanterns carried messages for those who did not survive. I think that there's still a lot of not understanding why we survived and other people didn't. And that is something that is very, very hard to live with. Reporter: This week, we caught up again with lynn kaelin, who captured those haunting images from the "costa concordia." She says watching the latest cruise ship crisis unfold in the gulf brings it all back for her. It brings back the memories of the night when we went over on the cruise ship. I feel so sorry because I know what it's like being stuck and not being able to get off. Reporter: One of the major ongoing frustrations for the survivors, lawsuits against carnival cruise lines, which owns the "costa concordia," are unlikely to go far. Maritime law is not generous to victims of disasters. The most you can probably collect for wrongful death or severe injury? Roughly $60,000. Lynn collected just over $9,000. It definitely doesn't cover the stress and going to a psychiatrist and all of our belongings on the ship. And we are living with it. I haven't slept one single night from that accident. One of our daughters is dealing with it, having a bad dream. Reporter: So what has become of the man who allegedly is to blame for this accident? Captain schettino is at his home, near naples, under court orders. Since the crash he has been publicly defending his actions, calling himself a hero, blaming his subordinates. And saying he has no regrets. And here's the kicker. He is now suing the cruise company to get his job back. Reporter: A comment that drives lynn kaelin up a wall. I don't understand how someone who has done what he has done could consider working for the industry again. Get the kids, go, go. He didn't know what was going on with it. We have children, with e have babies and he was the first person off the ship? Where is his compassion for us? Reporter: In weeks, a judge is expected to announce whether there's enough evidence to indict schettino on manslaughter, causing a wreck and abandoning ship. The man they call the chicken of the sea is looking at life behind bars. Meanwhile, after a series of delays, salvage crews hope to be able to remove the "costa concordia" from her watery resting place this september. For those whose family members have died, the losses remain incalculable. In new booking drops, and prices skyrocket and carnival had to cut their rates to attract new passengers. Many asking tonight l the same thing happen tonight after the "triumph".
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.