Marooned and half sunk, the Costa Brittannia has been left stranded for many months, after skipper Tony De Bushbitch steered it onto the rocks and abandoned ship, leaving millions in danger of drowning.
Now, as salvage experts begin the massive challenge of refloating the ship, a row has broken out between rival groups of scrap merchants, who both aim to sell the remains of Brittannia on to their preferred bidders. Neither inspires too much confidence in the passengers, many of whom have lost everything they own - while the rest have lost their lives.
The tragic ship began is thought to have started sinking as soon as its skipper took over. While he was trying to entertain wealthy foreign VIPs, he delegated the steering to his deputies who promptly guided the vehicle onto the rocks. One of the guilty party, controversially, now wants to re-assume control of the ship, if it is ever re-floated.