The removal of the Costa Concordia wreckage has been pushed back by a day to allow salvage workers to run further tests.

The 115,000-tonne vessel was to be towed away from Giglio in Italy today, two-and-a-half years after it struck rocks and capsized.

Civil protection agency chief Franco Gabrielli said towing will now commence on Wednesday, allowing extra time for final checks to be made before it is towed away from the Italian coastline and to a shipyard in Genoa.

“In this kind of operation it does not make sense to rush, we don’t want to make mistakes,” Costa Cruises chief executive Michael Thamm said.

“We have never been over-ambitious, we have taken one step after another.

“An extra 24 hours give us time to run more tests, raise our comfort levels further. I believe it is another day well spent.”

The disabled ship is now almost fully afloat after salvage workers used inflatable metal boxes to raise it deck-by-deck.

The journey to Genoa in Italy is expected to take four days as Costa Concordia will be towed two knots per hour by two tugboats.

Twelve other vessels will accompany the ship on its final trip and 12 people from the salvage team will be on board.

Costa Concordia sunk off the coast of Giglio in Italy on 13 January 2012. The accident claimed the lives of 32 passengers.